Contrary to its name, forest bathing has nothing to do with “showering” or “cleaning” although many who have tried it will attest to its “soul-cleansing” benefits. Known as shin-rin-yoku in Japanese, forest bathing is the mindfulness practice of immersing oneself in a forest setting, soaking in the therapeutic effects of being out in nature. Although it started in Japan, forest bathing has now gained popularity around the world, with forest bathing societies in countries such as the US and Sweden.
So, what are some of the benefits of forest bathing?
It reconnects you with your senses
Many of us city-dwellers are constantly on the move and hyper-connected to our devices. Most of us hardly have time to notice, let alone appreciate, our environment. Being out in nature, with our mobile phones switched off, we are forced to slow down and breathe more deeply — to notice the sights, sounds and scents around us.