Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese art of forest bathing. It originated in Japan in the 1980’s, but has its roots in ancient times.
Forest bathing is not swimming in pools or waterfalls in the forest (although this can be part of the experience I suppose), but means immersing yourself and all your senses in the forest or woods. Taking in all the smells, touching leaves, trees, plants, etc
We have known for centuries that getting out into nature has both physical and mental health benefits, but studies into the benefits of Shinrin-Yuko have proven that indulging in this regularly reduces stress hormone production, improves feelings of happiness and creativity as well as lowering heart rate and blood pressure. It boosts the immune system and accelerates recovery from illness. Regular forest bathing may keep illness away in the first place!
We are part of nature, but have lost the art of being in nature. Caught up in modern life and technology, we need to get away from our machines every so often and get back to where we come from. Smelling flowers, listening to nature and touching trees, leaves and plants has such an amazing effect on our minds and bodies, even though we may not be aware of it.
It’s rather sad that, knowing all the benefits we get from trees, our weather, reducing flood levels, helping our world breathe, etc., that so many are cut down and destroyed without a second thought. Let’s change that – enjoy the benefits and spread the word!