Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” is a traditional Japanese practice of immersing oneself in nature by mindfully using all five senses. But you don’t have to lose yourself in a forest to reap the health benefits of being in nature. Check out reasons why you should embrace the outdoors.
We all know how good being in nature can make us feel. We have known it for centuries. The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air,wild flowers — these things give us a sense of comfort. They can ease our stress and worry, help us to relax and to think more clearly.
Being in nature can restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate us.
But what exactly is this feeling that is so hard to put into words? I am a scientist, not a poet. And I have been investigating the science behind that feeling for many years.
This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.
Never have we been so far from merging with the natural world and so divorced from nature. By 2050, 66% of the world’s population is projected to live in cities. According to a study sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 93% of his or her time indoors.
Even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health.
First, find a spot. Make sure you have left your phone and camera behind or please for at least 30 minutes turn it off. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly. You don’t need any devices. Let your body be your guide. Listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose. And take your time. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get anywhere. You are not going anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells and sights of nature and letting the forest in.
The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses. Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet. Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the natural aromatherapy of phytoncides. Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths. Place your hands on the trunk of a tree. Dip your fingers or toes in a stream. Lie on the ground. Release your sense of joy and calm. This is your sixth sense, a state of mind. Now you have connected with nature. You have crossed the bridge to happiness.
When it comes to finding calm and relaxation, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution – it varies from person to person. It is important to find a place that suits you. If you love the smell of damp soil, you will be most relaxed where the natural landscape provides it. Then the effects of the forest will be more powerful. Maybe you have a place in the countryside that reminds you of your childhood or of happy times in the past. These places will be special to you and your connection with them will be strong. Maybe you love the smell of the sea and sand in your toes then an area where there is running water
When you have been busy at work all week, it can be hard to slow down and even harder to make time for yourself and just relax.
We always seem to be rushing around so much that we no longer know how to stand still.
Learn to appreciate the still..
May your time in Nature lead you to yourself
It will change your life…..
Fellows River Side Garden Pics