(MotivateDaily.org) – If I asked you when you last took a bath, you’d probably have a ready answer. If I asked about the last time you took a forest bath, you might look at me like I was crazy. Who does that?
It turns out that many people enjoy forest bathing — and it’s probably not what you’re thinking.
It’s called shinrin-yoku, and it is a Japanese term meaning “forest bath.” Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve taking a physical bath in a forest. Instead, this term refers to immersing yourself in nature. Going into a forest and tuning in to your surroundings can have significant health benefits. Research shows that forest bathing can increase energy and decrease depression, anxiety and fatigue. It can even lower your blood pressure.
Taking a forest bath is simple. You don’t need any accessories, and it doesn’t require a set amount of time (although the more, the better). You can do it in any weather and at any level of physical fitness. Here’s how.
Go Into Nature
Choose a location where you can immerse yourself in nature. An actual forest isn’t necessary. You may choose a park, hiking trail, garden, or any number of natural environments. Set aside time to forest bathe in the location of your choosing.
Tune Out — And In
When you get to your desired destination, it’s time to tune out of the world of screens and social media and tune in to your environment. Truly feel your surroundings. Sit or lie down in the area to get in touch with the experience. Open up to each of your senses and practice mindful presence. Be sure to silence your cell phone to make this possible so you won’t be constantly screening calls or checking notifications.
While you’re forest bathing, allow your breath to deepen as if you were meditating. Forest bathing is a form of mindfulness meditation. Allow yourself to fully experience the benefits by breathing deeply and focusing on your immediate surroundings.
You’ll benefit from regularly bathing — forest bathing, that is. Connecting to yourself and to the world around you could have you feeling refreshed, destressed and ready to take on the world. When life gets overwhelming, it may be time to cleanse yourself of the stress and take a bath. And do it in a forest.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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