Recently, it became apparent that I was spending way too much time indoors and not enough time outside. I was juggling everyone else’s needs and forgot about mine. It became obvious that it was taking a toll on my ability to maintain a sense of calm and balance throughout the day. And that’s what everyone needs from me as well as what gets me through the day.
So I decided to take a fine autumn morning to do some Forest Bathing, also know as Shinrin-yoku. In the early 1980s, the practice was developed in Japan as a form of preventive health care and healing. Over the years, there has been quite a bit of research that speaks to the benefits of Forest Bathing. But honestly folks, if you have ever spent any time in the woods, you already know the amazing gifts communing with nature provides. We’re talking about some real stress release, which in turn boosts your immune system for starters.
Although I love sharing a walk in the woods and exploring with friends and family, my focus tends to be more on the conversation and not on my surrounding. I’m more inclined to walk faster to keep up and I miss a lot. The deep stress release really only comes when I am bathing in nature. Think of a long soak in a bubble bath with music and candles ~ ahhhh. Therefore, when I really need/want to reap the benefits of the forest, I go into it alone, allowing myself to be 100% present so I can bath in my surroundings.
If you have read my blogs, you know that I love Waterfall Therapy, simply sitting by a waterfall, allowing it to release all the stress from the body. Well, sitting in the middle of the woods, listening to and watching the wind blow through the autumn leaves is also a fabulous stress reliever.
On snowy days, I love sitting outside listening and watching the snow fall around me. I look up, pick one snowflake, and watch it fall gently to the earth. I enjoy watching water falling from tall waterfalls like Taughannock Falls too. I pick one section and follow the flow all the way down.
After over four hours of wandering through the woods, paying attention, listening, observing, I was ready to re-enter and engage in the activities of my daily life again. It normally does not take that long, but I just could not see a reason to pull myself away from such a lovely experience. Feeling stressed? Do yourself a favor, soak in the forest; you will be happy you did.
All information is shared for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.