If you find yourself yearning for the trees and not the beach then you probably fall into the category of someone who prefers forest bathing to sunbathe. But this is by no means a ‘new’ idea. The term was actually created in Japan back in the 1980s when people found themselves simply stepping into the forest, walking through the trees, and simply being at peace with the quiet around them. It does not mean hiking which implies hardy physical exercise and a whole lot of exertion. Forest bathing is akin to soaking in a bubble bath, it is meant to calm and relax the soul. These are four of the benefits if you are feeling like you have a restless mind.
Lower Blood Pressure
It is a well-known fact that walking or anything that leads to destressing has the ability to lower blood pressure naturally and forest bathing is no different. Simply walking in the woods decreases your pulse as you let the stress of the day wash away and then your blood pressure will also decrease. What does decreased blood pressure mean? It means that you will be at a lower risk of a heart attack which is a huge benefit.
When stress is decreased dopamine and cortisol levels decrease in your brain which is what contribute to those overwhelming feelings of stress. To combat this, breathing in all of that clean air from the trees and undergrowth in the forest acts to clear your mind and make you feel more at peace. Letting your day or week go is key. Once you decrease your stress levels you will find that your energy levels increase and you may become more productive during the day.
If you find yourself having trouble sleeping at night it may also be due to stress. Going for a walk in the woods, or simply sitting in a wooded area will combat and remove any stressors that your built environment has created. Physically removing yourself from a cityscape is sometimes needed to do this, and the quiet will allow you to have a deeper sleep when you return home.
When you find that nothing is working to decrease your stress, get yourself into the forest and simply try experiencing everything the natural environment has to offer you. The idea is to be alone in the forest and removed from any outside influences. Turn your phone off and be one with the forest.