How to Forest Bathe
Why do we need forest bathing?
The first cavewoman, and modern day women live very different lives. One thing that separates us from our ancient ancestors is our environments. Society has evolved and changed its landscapes in drastic ways. The natural environment for humans since conception has been nature. Before skyscrapers and highrises', the tallest things known to humans were trees, and hills and mountains. These natural pieces of creation were seen as, well, natural; and what is natural brings us comfort. Big cities like New York, and LA for example, have a serious lack of nature. People that work long corporate jobs and spend a fortune to live in a shoebox highrise start to look like rats in mazes instead of humans in nature. We have built a society up around us that has made for much progress in many ways. However, there is a lack of progress in other ways, such as mental health.
Anxiety, depression and mental health issues are at an all time high today. The stress we put on ourselves, our relationships with others, and work is insane. Many of these discomforting issues are not met with the natural comfort of nature that our primal brains crave. We actually deprive ourselves from it whilst we live in a rat maze of concrete surroundings.
This is where forest bathing comes in.
What is forest bathing?
Forest bathing is an idea and practice that stems from Eastern cultures like Korea, Japan, and China in our modern world today. It is a physiological and psychological practice that is based on the idea that spending time in nature is beneficial to our health. Science backs this idea up, along with evolutionary psychology. Afterall, it is more of an innate knowledge that we seem to have.
Forest bathing consists of essentially going into nature without electronics and being present for a couple hours. This is the most basic way to forest bathe, although there are more intense levels of taking part in this. There are guided forest meditation retreats that can even be found.
How to Forest Bathe:
Cleanse from Electronics
First of all, ditch your phone! Our lives are so focused on being on our phone. Taking time to unplug allows you to focus on yourself and be more present. Allows your eyes to rest and focus on the world around you instead of your usual rectangle.
Look for a nearby location surrounded by nature such as a forest. Blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones are all reduced when in a forest, or surrounded by nature. Not to mention, a plethora of oxygen.
Take time to clear your mind. Reflect and try to meditate on who you are, and who you want to be. Don’t stress about the outside world. Be present, and emerge refreshed.
Written by Isabella Cammarata