Have you ever walked in on a hiking trail and just felt at peace? Your thinking process
just slows down and you feel at peace. If so, you probably just experienced Shinrin Yoku.
Shinrin Yoku is the Japanese phrase for forest bathing. It’s also known as nature therapy. If you don’t
live near a highly wooded area, you can practice shinrin yoku at parks. Going back to how negative
ions are outside, when walking in nature, your breathing in those ions. Studies have shown that people
who practice shinrin yoku have reductions in stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness. Their
blood pressure drops, concentration, and mental clarity improve after 15 minutes.
Here are 5 ways to practice shinrin yoku:
- Leave your phone, camera, or anything that will distract you from being in the present.
- Allow your mind to wander freely while you’re walking. Don’t think about goals, deadlines, etc.
- Stop at times to appreciate your surroundings. Look at a flower, tree, or a funny looking rock.
- Sit down and listen to the sounds of nature around you.
- If you’re going with a group of people, you can all make the decision to stay silent for the
walk and share your experiences at the end.
I have practiced shinrin yoku before. In my experience, I found that when I started my walk,
my mind was racing with thoughts. After a while though my thoughts stopped and I felt at peace.
I was calm and enjoying the raw sight of nature.
Here is a link that talks more about shinrin yoku
If your able to get out, I would suggest practicing shinrin yoku. Take care, stay safe, and you’re
not alone and you have worth in this world.