“Shinrin-Yoku, translated into English as ‘forest bathing’, means taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk. It is a therapy that was developed in Japan during the 1980s, becoming a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Every study conducted so far has demonstrated reductions in stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness amongst the participants. In fact after just 15 minutes of forest bathing blood pressure drops, stress levels are reduced and concentration and mental clarity improve.”

“New Zealand forest” flickr photo by Tatters ✾ https://flickr.com/photos/tgerus/40177759325 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

 

Today our friends at Grow Wild gives us a simple 5 step guide to shinrin yoku for us to practise:

 

Step 1 – leave behind your phone, camera or any other distractions, so that you can be fully present in the experience.

Step 2 – Leave behind your goals and expectations. Wander aimlessly, allowing your body to take you wherever it wants.

Step 3 – Pause from time to time, to look more closely at a leaf or notice the sensation of the path beneath your feet.

Step 4 – Find a comfy spot to take a seat and listen to the sounds around you. See how the behaviour of the birds and other animals changes when they become used to your presence.

Step 5 – If you go with others, make an agreement to resist talking until the end of the walk, when you could gather to share your experiences.

 

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