Forest bathing is translated from the Japanese term “shinrin-yoku,” referring to the practice of spending time in nature.
Forest bathing does not have anything to do with bathtubs, rather it describes mindful exposure to your surrounding natural environment.
While walking in nature is fine, it isn’t required. Forest bathing is about immersion in nature—regardless of how it occurs.
Research suggests that forest bathing may:
- Reduce blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate.
- Lower levels of stress hormones and reduce perceived stress.
- Improve blood lipid levels.
- Improve immediate emotional state, lower levels of anxiety, and increase perceived vigor.
- Promote brain function and calming.
Forest bathing doesn’t necessarily require a forest. It could be a park, the beach, the desert, or your favorite hiking trail.
The key to experiencing the benefits is to practice mindfulness when in a natural environment.
So, leave your phone at home, control your breathing, and spend some time focusing exclusively on the sensory experience provided by your surroundings.