The average Brit spends 90% of their day inside - that's 22 hours per day!
Shinrin Yoku - a form of nature therapy aka Forest Bathing is set to be one of the biggest health and wellbeing 'trends' of 2020.
Originating in the 1980s in Japan, studies have proven that it delivers many benefits to both physical and mental health including reduced stress levels, improved immunity, improved serotonin (aka the happy chemical!) levels, lower blood pressure and accelerated recovery from illness or trauma. It has become a cornerstone of preventative health care and wellbeing in Japanese medicine.
Research has also suggested reductions in anxiety, depression and sleeplessness. Just 15 minutes of the practice has been proven to boost mental clarity and concentration.
Many advocates describe feeling better connected to nature and a rebalancing of their body and mind, by being away from the hustle and bustle of their normal busy lives and using their senses to take in the forest environment.
- Feeling like your life is too busy?
- Feeling overwhelmed by constant emails/messages?
- Feeling like you have been indoors all winter?
If that's the case, then forest bathing might be worth a go. We are spoilt in the Devon area with so many wonderful places to walk and be surrounded by nature, but locally to Exeter, you could try Haldon Forest Park, Fingle Woods in the Teign Valley, Core Hill Wood near Sidmouth, Ashclyst Forest near Killerton or Bellever Forest on Dartmoor. For those further afield, take a look at your nearby Woods/ Forests or just explore nearer to your home and see what woods are in your local vicinity.
Tips to enhance your forest bathing experience:
1. Leave behind your phone! Or at least turn it onto silent and put it in your pocket, untouched.
2. Don't have a particular route in mind, just walk and see where you end up.
3. Pause occasionally and use your senses to take in the surrounding noises, smells, etc.