Forest bathing, or Shinrin-Yoku in Japanese, is a therapy developed in Japan. Basically, it means to take in the forest atmosphere by having a leisurely walk in the forest and spend time amongst the trees, a simple process that leads to profound effects. Observing nature and breathing deeping in it, revolves around participants coming in contact with and connecting with nature, de-stress and boosting wellbeing in a natural way. Cleansing our body and mind from inside out, forest bathing brings both mental and physical benefits.
Next time try this - leave your phone or camera or any devices behind, give yourself the best chance to relax and enjoy a sensory forest-based experience. Go to a forest or a park, slow down, wander slowly and aimlessly, so you can see and feel more. As you walk, take long and deep breaths, extending the exhalation of air to twice the length of the inhalation sends a message to the body that it can relax.
You can stop, stand or sit, then smell, ask yourself what can you smell? Try to take in your surroundings using all of your senses. Be observant, look at all the small details of nature. Look closely at a leaf, observe a bird, feel your footsteps, listen to the sounds around you. Avoid thinking about your to-do list or issues, you might be surprised by the number of wild forest inhabitants you see during this process.
Don't forget to keep your eyes open, let the colors of nature soothes you with its greens and blues. Stay as long as you can, start with a comfortable time limit and build up to the recommended two hours for a complete forest bathing experience.
Leading to the last point, all these are not hard guidelines. There is not a single universal way to go forest bathing, as each person has their own manner of finding their footing in nature.
No matter how you apply, forest bathing can lower your blood sugar, stress hormone levels, and blood pressure while bringing up your white blood cell production. This experience can also improve mental clarity, concentration and creativity. Of course mainly to reduce your stress, anger, anxiety and depression.