As the technological revolution of the last generation has led to people becoming more absorbed in their screentime, there’s also been a resurgence of interest in how spending time in nature can relax the mind and body — and help reverse the negative effects of this sedentary way of life.
Forest bathing comes from the Japanese practice called Shinrin Yoku, which means to bathe your senses in the atmosphere of the forest.
Since the early 1980s, the Japanese and Chinese have done a number of interesting studies into how forest therapy can relax and heal the mind and body.
In the video posted below, I talk about one study from China that compared walking in an urban area to walking in a forest to see the differences in how it affected the body physiologically and the brain in terms of changes in brainwave patterns.
The walk in the urban environment led to high beta brainwaves, which is associated with narrow, objective focus while the walk in the forest led to an increase in alpha brainwaves, which is associated with relaxed alertness and a more open state of awareness.
The number of studies on forest bathing and the practice of forest therapy have shown that spending time in forests can reduce stress, improve resiliency, increase creativity, and help to improve mental health.