Have you heard about shinrin yoku simply translated to “forest bathing”? It gained popularity in Japan in the 1950s. Shinrin yoku literally translates to “forest bath” — it is the practice of “bathing” in the atmosphere of the forest. Participants in early Japanese shinrin yoku experiences would simply walk through the woods and enjoy the presence of the trees as they absorbed the quiet benefits of forest therapy.
While it started out as a simple meditation practice, researchers quickly began to discover that the simple practice of taking walks in the forest created a host of long-lasting health benefits for body and mind alike. Before long, science began to credit the practice of shinrin yoku.
Participants in shinrin yoku increase their well-being by taking walks in a forest environment alone or with forest therapy guides who help them access the relaxing power of walking through nature. It is important to mention that forest therapy isn’t the same as exercising. Shinrin yoku does not necessarily involve raising your heart rate as hiking or jogging would. The focus here is on the mental health benefits of immersing yourself in the natural world and letting your own mood guide your activity. It’s essentially a chance to step back from the cares of everyday life and simply be.
From “Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness,” by David and Austin Perlmutter.
I went forest bathing yesterday, between rain showers. I find it truly enhances my mindfulness practice while it provides me with an opportunity to hone my contemplative photography skills.
Hope you enjoy today’s post as it can set the tone for the day after Labour Day. Best wishes, Anna