Do you love spending time outdoors during the weekends by being in the midst of nature? If yes, then you will definitely add forest bathing to your list. Forest bathing isn't about living in an extreme wooden area, it is more than that. In this article, we will explain the wonderful benefits of forest bathing and how it benefits your health.
The concept of forest bathing is exposing yourself to nature to obtain mental, physical and emotional benefits. Forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) has an impressive effect which encourages relaxation and reduces stress, as stress plays a huge role in many acute and chronic diseases.
More and more stressed Japanese workers are relaxing themselves and reconnecting with nature through forest bathing. And due to this, the forest bathing movement is currently gaining popularity in different parts of the world.
What Is Forest Bathing?
Forest bathing is also known as shinrin-yoku and what does this Japanese term mean? Shinrin means 'forest' and yoku means 'bath'. So, shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere or taking in the forest through your senses. It is also referred to as tree bathing or nature therapy as well.
Forest bathing was first started in Japan which still continues to be a form of preventative medicine and natural treatment.
Forest bathing lets you connect with the nature around you, and you immerse yourself in naturally beautiful and health-boosting forest surroundings by using your senses like sight, smell, hearing, etc.
The positive outcome is to get a very peaceful and positive experience that has been shown by science to provide various health benefits.
How Can Forest Bathing Improve Your Health?
The various health-boosting benefits of forest bathing or shinrin-yoku are the following:
1. Boosts Immune Function
One of the benefits of forest bathing is it boosts your immune system. A study revealed that spending time in nature can significantly boost the activity of white blood cells which can help fight virus and tumour cells.
These positive effects of forest bathing are credited to phytoncides. These are antimicrobial wood essential oils from trees like alpha-pinene and limonene.
2. Improves The Health Of The Nervous System
Another positive effect forest bathing has is on the nervous system health. If your nervous system health is good, your heartbeat and blood pressure become stable. And forest bathing does just that by balancing your nervous system.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension can come under control through forest bathing. Researchers have shown that forest environments lower stress hormones like noadrenaline and adrenaline and give out an overall relaxing effect. Walking in a forest environment can also have a positive effect on cardiovascular problems.
4. Boosts Mental Health
Nature can be beneficial for mental health by lowering cognitive fatigue, stress, depression and anxiety. So, if you are feeling disturbed just take a walk in nature and boost up your mental health.
5. Reduces Stress
Trees are known to infuse the air with compounds that may have very positive effects on humans. These compounds are known as phytonicides that actually decrease the levels of stress hormones in both men and women. To obtain phytonicides, you have to breathe in the fresh forest air.
6. Boosts Cognitive Function
Did you know spending more time in nature can boost your creativity? This is because you switch off your electronic devices and detach yourself from the stressful world. Getting into nature is what boosts your cognitive function.
What Ayurveda Says About Forest Bathing?
Yoga is a natural way of connecting with nature and Ayurveda looks to maintain this interconnectedness. So, yoga is being combined with forest bathing as many prefer to practice yoga in the forest.
How To Practice Forest Bathing?
- First go to a forest and start walking slowly.
- Second, start breathing; this will open yours senses.
The smell of the damp soil, walking on the grass and touching the trees will unlock your senses and you will start releasing the calm and joy and eventually, going into a state of happiness.
So, how to find forest bathing near you? You can find it anywhere wherever there are trees. It can be in a park or your garden.
Ready to go for a forest bathing?
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