On the weekend we went for a much overdue bushwalk, then hike up a small mountain in a local national park that my mind, body and soul had been seeking for months.
If you’re tired of the constant chatter in your brain or “go-go-go” of your life, forest bathing is a great way to let go of the need to always be doing. Instead of trying to perfect life and yourself, we can take a moment to see the beauty of what us is already there, around all the time – nature.
Common to many cultures—in Japan it’s called shinrin-yoku, in Sweden, friluftsliv and in Germany, waldeinsamkeit.
“The best way to deal with stress at work is to go for a forest bath. I go for shinrin-yoku every lunchtime. You don’t need a forest; any small green space will do. Leave your cup of coffee and your phone behind and just walk slowly. You don’t need to exercise, you just need to open your senses to nature. It will improve your mood, reduce tension and anxiety, and help you focus and concentrate for the rest of the day”. Dr Qing Li
The benefits of Forest Bathing
According to research shared in Dr Li’s book on how to forest bathe, not only does forest bathing-
· reduce stress
· lowering blood pressure and heart rate,
· it’s also been shown to increase energy,
· reduce anxiety and
· improve both our mood—and our sleep…
And it might not just be the act of forest bathing that’s relaxing. Plant phytoncides (natural oils produced by trees to protect them from bugs, fungi and bacteria) may also positively impact our health. And then add in the fact that the concentration of oxygen is higher in forests.
In fact, Japan has a national program designed to encourage people to forest bathe in order to lower stress and boost health!
Why not give Forest Bathing a try?
The good news, you don’t even need a forest, just a green quiet space will do. Just…
· Be willing to slow down and reconnect to yourself!
· Leave your responsibilities and devices behind.
· Use your five senses to attune to your surroundings—and notice what is there.
· Feel into your body. Remember who and what you are—just another part of nature.
Contents of this article gratefully came from another Coach blog.
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