We know that nature is great for our mind and body and there are many activities such as hiking, camping, and walking that brings us closer to nature. You may be wondering what makes forest bathing different? Well, unlike other activities which focus on an end goal or require physical activity and exercise, forest bathing is simply about being in nature and connecting with it through the senses. If you are curious as to what forest bathing is and how to participate in forest bathing for your health, read on now!
What Is Forest Bathing?
Developed by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in the 1980s, forest bathing is also known as shinrin-yoku, which literally translates to forest bath. The practice of forest bathing is to experience and engage with nature fully. It is not just about enjoying the atmosphere, but also about practicing mindfulness and opening your senses.
How Do I Practice Forest Bathing?
Firstly, it is important to find the right location to effectively practice forest bathing. Try to avoid places with steep inclines or places that are difficult to maneuver. Depending on your preferences, look for a natural landscape that suits you or that you feel connected to. Make sure that you don’t bring too many items on your journey. Sunscreen, a water bottle, and walking poles may be needed, but avoid bringing your phone or camera.
Allow your body to take control and let it lead you wherever it wants to go. Follow your senses and take your time. Breathe in the forest, and let your body and mind soak up its smells, sounds, sights, touch, and taste. While it is encouraged to lie on the ground or feel the bark of a tree trunk, you should be careful to leave the forest as it is. In addition, do not stray from the trail as it can be dangerous if you get lost or encounter wild animals.
Benefits of Forest Bathing
Forest bathing has incredible benefits for both the body and mind. Forest bathing can reduce stress, anxiety and improve your mood. Feeling a connection with nature leads to better mental health and higher levels of happiness. Apart from helping you to relax and achieve emotional stability, forest bathing also brings out your creative side. Spending time in nature regularly helps boost your immune system, and studies have shown that it can potentially accelerate your body’s recovery process. It also contributes to lowering your blood pressure levels, so you can grow much healthier if you practice forest bathing often.
Blue Ridge is the Perfect Senior Living Community for Nature Lovers
Blue Ridge is the perfect senior living community for older adults who love nature and want to spend more time outdoors. In addition to our beautifully designed grounds and courtyards, we are located nearby natural landscapes suitable for forest bathing. Our health and wellness team is dedicated to keeping your mind and body engaged, and we offer exclusive lifestyle programs and activities to maintain and improve your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.