As we all innately know, spending time in nature is good for our body, mind and spirit. It’s why we’re attracted to green places, flowers, lakes, fresh air and sunshine. “Forest bathing” or as it’s called in Japan “shinrin-yoku”, has now been clinically proven to reduce stress and improve human health.
Research documented that the health effects of a trip to the woods include reduced blood pressure, reduced cortisol levels, an increase in white blood cells, and an increase in natural killer cells which can combat cancer. To benefit the most, head into the woods for a couple of days every month.
Based on ancient Shinto and Buddhist practices, shinrin-yoku recommends a mindful approach to bathing in the forest and focusing on experiencing the forest through all five senses. If you’re caught up in the busyness of urban life and have to stop a second to try to remember what the five senses are….it’s time to head for the woods!
“Nature doesn’t bang any drums when she bursts forth into flowers, nor play any dirges when the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. But when we approach her in the right spirit, she has many secrets to share. If you haven’t heard nature whispering to you lately, now is a good time to give her the opportunity.” Osho, in Osho Zen Taro: the Transcendental Game of Zen