Let’s take a walk in the woods.
With no specific destination in mind, we will wander, observe and immerse ourselves in nature. Allow our senses to guide us.
When was the last time you walked into the woods with no plans? No final destination? Without a species to ID, hill to climb, or lookout to conquer?
What is forest bathing?
Forest bathing does not require a swimsuit, an actual bath or even water.
It does require you to bathe, metaphorically speaking, in nature, with all your senses open.
Research shows that time in the forest is deeply restorative for your mind, body, and brain. In Japan, doctors prescribe a type of forest therapy called Shinrin Yoku or forest bathing, which translates to ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’. It offers an approach to reducing stress in our challenging urban life by connecting us to the rhythms and processes of nature. The outcome of the session left us alert and calm.Forest bathers, when compared to their urban counterparts, exhibit lower blood pressure, heart rate, and concentrations of the stress-hormone salivary cortisol, according to a 2010 study spanning 24 Japanese forests, the Washinton Post reports. Other studies have found a correlation between forest bathing and an increase in white blood cells and other immune-system indicators.
I have questions for you:
- Are you so busy you have forgotten what it feels like to be at ease?
- When was the last time you felt like yourself- not frazzled or rushed?
- Do you ever wish life would just stop for a day so you can catch your breath?
- But when you do have a day off you fill it with distractions that don’t meet your deeper needs?
- Have you ever tried seated meditation only to quit because it was so painful? Yet you know you need something to calm your mind and body.