Washing the Stress Away with a Forest Bath

The color green has long been associated with feelings of calm and relaxation. And in-the-know creatives use it to evoke those states of being with particular designs and spaces. But forest bathing takes the power of green to new heights. 

Forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) is a Japanese form of eco-therapy that’s easy, accessible and free. The practice became one of the country’s health initiatives in 1982 to help people de-stress, unwind and reconnect with nature. 

But it’s difficult to describe the shift that occurs when you’re surrounded by nature – especially greenery and trees. The best way to understand it is to try it for yourself...

  • Go to a natural environment filled with trees and green plants. Ideally, you should be completely surrounded by nature. 
  • Put away your devices. 
  • Pay attention to your surroundings and mindfully take it all in. 
  • Tap into the moment, using all of your senses.

A study by Dr. Qing Li was published in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. It examines the effects of forest bathing on immune function. It discovered forest bathing sessions can significantly reduce the production of stress hormones. Other studies show forest bathing can lower your blood glucose levels and blood pressure too.

Of course we don’t all live near the woods. And getting away for a road trip might not be so easy. Feel free to get creative to work with what you’ve got. 

  • Woods/forest 
  • Trails/hiking paths in other natural settings 
  • Botanical gardens 
  • Tree-filled parks 

Or just spend more time with plants and the outdoors. Get some green house plants to freshen up your space, open up your windows more and take more breaks outside...even if you live in the city.