What’s “Forest Bathing”?

How are you all doing during the Pandemic? So many people find it difficult to adjust – especially if you are not an indoor person. But if you love doing varieties of outdoor activities, most likely it is hard to deal with the new normal. What I’d like to introduce today is what Japanese people call “Shinrin-yoku“, which literally mean, “Forest Bathing“. Have you guys ever heard of that word? It is a very simple therapy in both physiological and psychological ways, introduced in Japan during 1980’s.

What Is Forest Bathing Anyway?

So what do you do when you are “bathing in a forest”, so to say? Well, this is not an exercise, like some people put it. It is a THERAPY. You just put yourself in nature, spending a relaxing time among the trees. So don’t mix it up with hiking or jogging in the park. Feel you connection with nature through our senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Many of you may have switched to remote works during the Pandemic this time, so you might have been spending most of your day in front of your computers, using phones, talking to people online – but hey leave them behind just for 10-15 minutes to focus all your senses on the beauty of the nature. Green color has an effect of healing our eyes. You will be amazed by how much you and your eyes would feel refreshed from doing so.

What Are The Effects?

Studies have been conducted, and so far their results show that Forest Bathing is quite effective on participants who have suffered from stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and sleeplessness. As it positively produces calming neuro-psychological effects in our nervous system, it helps dropping the blood pressure, reducing the stress hormone cortisol, improving the mental concentration, and boosting the immune system as it increases the natural killer (NK) cells.

What Are the Steps? Very Simple!!

What are the steps? Very simple. And all free of charge 🙂 You only gain, no loss!!

  1. Find a spot where you can just relax and enjoy. Make sure it is not a crowded place – at least choose a place you can maintain social distancing.
  2. Leave behind all the distractions. This includes your phone and camera. What, you want a photo for your Instagram? Forget it.
  3. Walk slowly and aimlessly. Go where your feet take you. See some beautiful flowers on the way? Take time to smell. Literally, don’t forget to “smell the roses”. Enjoy the sound of birds singing and breeze rustling. Observe the different colors, shades, and tones of greens. How about the sunlight filtering through the branches? Just stop from time to time to notice those small things that actually can make your world a beautiful place.
  4. You can find a place to sit down and relax too!
  5. If you are with others, share your feelings and experiences with them. It’s a good way to enjoy this forest bathing together.

Now It’s Time to Try!!

Just start trying it for a couple days in a week and taste how good it is. If you like it, you can do it more often. In this stressful time, we do need time to lift up ourselves emotionally, mentally, and physically. It may take a strong motivation to get it started, but once you did it, it’d be easier. I’m sure forest bathing can give you feelings of relaxation and get you on a course of happiness. Let’s try it together. Not only survive, but thrive during the Pandemic!