“Forest Bathing” derived in 1982 from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries’ term “shirin-yoku”, which simply means absorbing the forest atmosphere, and spending time in nature.
There is no bathing actually required. While practicing Forest Bathing, you will learn to live in the present moment. while at the same time, totally immersing your senses in the sights and sounds of nature surrounding you.
Don’t let the term “Forest Bathing” discourage you if you live in a totally urban area, far away from the deep woods. As long as you can find a spot to be surrounded by nature, you could go to a nearby park, a nature trail, or any nature setting. You just need to practice the art of “mindfulness”, which means being completely present in a moment.
Once you have arrived at your own special “Nature Place”, just relax and spend some time taking in long, deep breaths. Pay attention to what your other senses are taking in. Your senses could be feeling a gentle breeze on your skin, listening to birds singing or squirrels chirping, maybe even smelling the salty ocean air.
You can simply sit and take in your surroundings, or feel free to get up and walk around – as long as you keep a slow, steady pace. Remember – this is not a fast-paced hike – it is all about letting your mind and your senses explore and indulge in all of the nature surrounding you.
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Try to give Forest Bathing at least a half an hour each day. This should become something to help you unwind and destress from the rat race of our extremely busy and complicated lives. Just remember to leave your cellphones at home, in your vehicle, or at least put away, while you spend this time engulfed in the beauty of nature surrounding you. I have a link for Forest Bathing Journals from Amazon, above. It would be a good idea to fill out journals such as these, and take them with you to glance at during the crazy times during your days, just to help you calm down as you read about your peaceful journeys in nature.
When we are under stress for long periods of time, it takes a toll on our minds and bodies. Stress can lead to increased anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, and even body aches and pains. Studies have revealed that as little as 10 minutes a day in nature can lead to decreased amounts of stress, and brings us some much-needed well-being and happiness. We all need to step back for a few minutes each day to just breathe and take in the beauty of GOD’s creation surrounding us. How long has it been since you just walked or sat in the woods, or on a park bench, and took the time to really listen to the birds singing for you, watched squirrels chattering and chasing each other, or noticed the changing of the beautiful leaves in Autumn???