“Forest bathing” could change your mental health for the better

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“Forest bathing” could change your mental health for the better

Our busy lives rob us of almost any time to enjoy the outdoors and it’s many benefits. We don’t get to go out as much as we’d like.

According to the National Human Activity Pattern Survey, the average adult spends a larger amount of time indoors and only 5% of their time outdoors. Which means we’re missing out on a potentially life-changing activity that could improve our mental health called- “forest bathing”.

“Forest bathing” is a wellness practice with origins in Japan and South Korea (it’s called shinrin-yoku in Japanese).  It’s quite a simple practice. Quietly immerse in the stillness of the forest to calm your stressed mind and boost feelings of well-being.

How does forest bathing work? And could “forest bathing” be the answer to our stress?

“Forest bathing” is a mental cleansing, being immersed in nature puts people in a state of relaxation and pleasure.

“Forest bathing” can switch on your parasympathetic nervous system. Also called the “rest and digest system,” the parasympathetic nervous system slows your heart rate and allows levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) to drop, which means you can rein in that overwhelming work stress. “This helps reduce stress, boost your mood, and allows your body to restore,” Dr. Frank Lipman, integrative medicine specialist and author of the new book HOW TO BE WELL, explains.

As a city dweller isn’t “Forest bathing” problematic, you are after all in a concrete jungle. Not quite, simple as a lunch break on a bench in a botanic garden or lounging in a park will be just as effective.

 

Forest bathing could change your mental health for the better

Next time you are feeling stressed or frustrated practice some”Forest bathing” and relive your stressed mind. This back to nature practice, in fact, is probably easier and absolutely far cheaper than that weekly appointment with your therapist.

Hayley

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