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Forest bathing: A guide to connecting with nature

Forest Bathing

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, is a practice that originated in Japan and involves immersing yourself in nature to reduce stress, improve mental health, and boost overall well-being. The idea is simple: spend time in a forest environment, breathe in the fresh air, and let the sights, sounds, and smells of nature wash over you.

Studies have shown that forest bathing can lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and improve mood. It can also boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality. In today’s fast-paced world, unplugging and connecting with nature is more important than ever.

City living and forest bathing

But what if you don’t live near a forest? Fear not; there are ways to bring the benefits of forest bathing to your city life. Below are our favourite ways to immerse yourself in nature when in the city:

  • Finding a green space in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life can be a challenge, but parks, gardens, and even trees on the side of the road can provide an oasis of nature. When near these natural elements, it’s important to take a walk and slow down to fully take in your surroundings.
  • Connect with nature through your senses. Close your eyes and take deep breaths, allowing the scent of the trees to fill your lungs. Listen to the sounds of birds singing and leaves rustling. Touch the bark of a tree, or feel the grass beneath your feet.
  • Take a mindful walk. Practice mindfulness by focusing on your surroundings and your breath. Take a slow, deliberate walk, focusing on each step and taking in your surrounding’s sights, sounds, and smells.
  • Try a park meditation for a more stationary approach. Find a quiet spot in a park, sit or lie down, then close your eyes and focus on breathing. This can help you let go of thoughts or distractions and fully connect with the natural world.
  • Bring nature into your home. Plants and nature scents and scenes can bring a touch of the outdoors to your home or office. Surround yourself with natural elements like stones, wood, or flowers to help you feel connected to nature.

Forest bathing can bring peace and calm to your life, regardless of whether you live in the city or not. Connecting with nature can reduce stress, improve your mental and physical well-being, and find a sense of balance in today’s busy world. If you are interested in reading more about forest bathing, click here. Finally, please remember to tag us at @surrender_to_happiness. We always love to see our readers progressing on their journey through life. If you want a break from the digital bombardment we constantly face, click here.

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