Published on July 27th, 2018 | by Catherine Tingey0
Americans now spend 90% of their life indoors and 6% of their remaining time in a closed vehicle.
This nature deficit has deprived us connection to source and increased our exposure to allergens, or asthmagens, from cleaning supplies, fluorescent lighting and off-gassing.
Shinrin-Yoku, or Forest Bathing, is a practice first encouraged by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the 1980s.
Unlike hiking, Forest Bathing is not about clocking miles, snapping pix, or even a destination.
Forest Bathing is about immersion.
Think a mindful walk in nature.
Enlivening all your senses.
Smelling the air, hearing the sound of earth beneath your feet, and the nearby voices of birds and insects.
A form of eco-therapy, mindful time spent in forests has physiological and psychological benefits.
PubMed studies indicate that forest bathing lowers cortisol (stress hormone), pulse rate, heart rate and blood pressure while boosting mood and immunity.
So find a forest near you and go for a walk.
Or check out The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Founded in 2012, the AFFT is an “educational organization leading the movement to integrate nature and forest therapies into health care, education, and land management systems.”
They also train Certified Forest Therapy guides!
And did you know that just looking at the color green is good for you?
If you work in an office and have no windows nearby, or views of concrete, consider a paper calendar or screensaver with a verdant green landscape. Be sure to look at it frequently throughout the day, and take a walk outside if possible during your breaks.