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Benefits of Forest Bathing

If you’ve felt like you need to connect to nature on a deeper level and are seeking a boost of motivation – Forest Bathing might be precisely what you are looking for. This is a unique idea of connecting to nature & finding peace outdoors.

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Forest Bathing and How it Can Help You Along the Way

The term Forest Bathing comes from the Japanese word shinrin-yoku, which also means to absorb the forest atmosphere. This practice encourages people to spend time in nature. The goal is to be present in the moment while immersing yourself in the sight & sound of a natural setting. Forest Bathing was created by a medical doctor and researcher – Qing Li. After years of careful studying, he found several benefits to support the concept of Forest Bathing.

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The Benefits of Forest Bathing

Reduces Stress

It’s no secret that being outdoors helps reduce stress. You certainly don’t have to be running or hiking to experience the effects nature can have on your mind; just walking through the forest, a garden or a hiking trail can go a long way. Being connected to nature is a stress reliever on its own and is also known to help you sleep better and longer at night.

Lessens Anxiety

Trees provide the oxygen we need to survive, and one sure thing is that nature is great for your mental health and overall well-being; spending time in the forest can lessen anxiety. You can feel anxious in your everyday routine and lifestyle, but have you ever noticed that even a breath of fresh air outside makes such a difference?

Helps with Depression

One method that has always helped depression symptoms includes spending time in the forest, being near the ocean, mountains, or any other setting that involves being outside. In Li’s study, he found that walking in a forest improves people’s vigor and reduces fatigue.

Minimizes Anger

Forest Bathing decreases anger and boosts your mood. Qing Li measured people’s moods before and after walking into a forest and realized that Forest Bathing increased energy and enthusiasm, making you feel less angry and tense.

Strengthens Immune System

Moving your body is always a good way to strengthen your immune system. You can take that even further with the idea of plant chemicals or “phytoncides,” which are natural oils that are part of the defense system against bacteria, insects, and fungi. Li says it can have measurable health benefits for your immune system.

Improves Your Health

It can improve your cardiovascular and metabolic health and also reduce your blood pressure or heart rate – being surrounded by trees is rewarding and effective. Qing Li states in his book that “wherever there are trees, we are healthier and happier!”

Boosts Your Well-Being

Spending time in nature releases hormones that link to pure joy. Connecting you to calm and avoid making you feel overwhelmed. Forest Bathing can also help you concentrate better, make you more creative, and lessen the feeling of feeling threatened. Overall, it boosts energy levels and can help you recover from illness and trauma more quickly. Nature is healing and often more therapeutic than we know.

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Ways to Add Forest Bathing Into Your Life

You can connect to nature in many ways, and Li recommends these tips from his book “Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness.

  • Find a spot – A location with many green plants, trees, grass, etc.
  • Engage all your senses – Through sight, smell, feeling, and touching. 
  • Don’t rush – Take your time and enjoy the moment you are in
  • Try different activities – Meditation, stretching, watering plants, or journaling
  • Appreciate the silence – Silence keeps you aware, restores energy, & provides calmness

I hope you use this unique method of Forest Bathing when you feel like you need it. Just remember to be intentional with it and remember that it doesn’t require much work to enjoy nature – even if you cannot make it to the forest, outside still helps in many ways.

Your Thoughts: Do you practice Forest Bathing?

This post was about the Benefits of Forest Bathing. Which of these techniques do you find helpful? Share a comment below and let me know your ideas on the concept of Forest Bathing.

Resources

Society of Forest and Medicine Website

Why Forest Bathing is Good For Your Health

Forest Bathing: What It Is and Why You Should Try It

Forest Bathing Benefits

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