If you’re not familiar with the term ‘forest bathing’, you’re not alone. It may sound uncomfortable but honestly, it’s not, quite the opposite in fact.
‘Forest bathing’ translates from the Japanese phrase “Shinrin-Yoku” which literally means to take in a forest atmosphere. It refers to the practice of taking time to switch from your everyday urban environment to one filled with trees and nature. With a whopping $4m worth of research behind it, Forest Bathing has been shown to have a huge positive impact on our wellbeing. So much so, that it’s an important part of preventative healthcare within Japan, and officially part of the national health program.
Shinrin-Yoku is born out of Buddhist and Shinto practices. Its effectiveness is grounded in the way ‘Forest Bathing’ seeks to restore the bond between humans and nature that has dramatically weakened through rapid urbanisation of cities and their surrounds. Results of studies have shown that Forest Bathing can help to significantly reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, reduce blood pressure levels and improve the activity and regeneration of disease fighting cells within our body.
We know not everyone has a forest on their door step, but the concept of Forest Bathing, with all the health benefits that go hand in hand with it, reminds us of the phrase “Urban Jungle”. A trending phase, notably on Instagram, that perhaps, too often glosses over the real and substantial health benefits that come with introducing plants into your home. So whether you fancy taking a trip to the New Forest or surrounding yourself with green whilst sitting on the sofa at home, we hope that you take the time to experience nature and all the wellbeing benefits that come with it.