• Sarah Hawkins

The benefits of Forest Bathing

I

find the Japanese culture and traditions so fascinating and they are so unique. Something I thoroughly enjoy doing which originates from Japan and has so many benefits is the practice of Shinrin Yoko aka Forest Bathing. The translation means taking in the atmosphere of the forest through our senses.

In this modern day it's so easy to get caught up in the 9-5 rat race as you live in or work in a busy urban area which plays havoc with your body. I try to carve sometime out and de-stress.

I find Forest Bathing has so many benefits such as reducing your stress hormones lifting your spirit and mood and reducing your heart rate. It's a perfect time to slow down and connect with nature.

Shinrin Yoko was developed in the 1980s in Japan. It has become a pillar of preventative health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Many scientific studies have taken place over the years to understand the health benefits of spending time within the forest.

When you spend time in beautiful area of nature and have a walk the proven benefits are:

* reduced blood pressure

* improved mood

* reduction in production of stress hormones


Improving your connection with nature leads to an increase in your well-being. When I'm soaking in the beauty of the forest, I find that my mind is at its most creative. I feel so relaxed as I close my eyes and listen to the song of the forest and breath in the fresh air. I also can't help myself but to hug a tree, I always find it makes me feel so much better and at peace. Perhaps it's the sensory perception of the feel of the bark, or the rustling of the leaves and being at one with nature. I don't know the science behind it but did you know that when you hug tree your body produces Oxytocin which is the hormone responsible for keeping you calm and bonding emotionally.


I would love to hear about your experiences of Forest Bathing and being at one with nature.


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