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Forest Bathing For Stress Management

The term Forest Bathing was actually coined in Japan in the 1980's as a form of eco-therapy. The Japanese realized that being out in the natural world reaped all sorts of benefits both physically and psychologically.

Most people recognize that spending time outdoors tends to offer a deeper relaxation and a reset from the stress of everyday life. Believe it or not, you don't actually need a forest in order to reap the reward. A local park, beach, lake, mountain or meadow can all offer the connection you are looking for.

Below you will find a few tips in order to collect the most benefits from Forest Bathing:

  1. Leave your electronics at home or in the car. Being fully disconnected will bring you a sense of ease as well as the ability to take in what you are experiencing.

  2. Notice your surroundings. Most of us walk through each day deeply in thought about the next thing on our "to-do" list. Instead, bring your attention to what you are looking at. You will notice that your mind may wander back to that list...that's normal. When you realize it, just bring your attention back to your surroundings.

  3. Breath in and out through your nose, if possible. Breath deeply to allow the oxygen to fill your lungs and infiltrate your cells. Most people unconsciously engage in shallow breathing as a result of stress. This causes a subtle yet profound sense of dis-ease. Smell the scents of where you are in the natural world through each breath you take.

  4. Notice a difference. Take note between how you felt as you entered the natural world vs. how you feel after you have completed a session. Do you feel different? Has your stress reduced? Do you feel more grounded?

  5. Take a visual snapshot of your favorite place on this pilgrimage that you can recall later to reconnect you to this feeling.

Taking a little time out of your day or week to connect with nature will undoubtedly offer a sense of grounding and calm that can be difficult to find in our busy days. Bath away!


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