The Shinrinyoku is a practice that consists of spending time in the forest with the objective of having better health, well-being and happiness. The term comes from its important principle which is to bathe in the atmosphere of the forest. It is an activity from Japan with a tradition in various cultures of the world that invites people to heal spiritually.
How It Is Practiced.
There are a number of factors necessary to benefit from Shinrinyoku that are similar to mindfulness.
Connecting With Nature.
This requires moving the mind across the landscape in a way that opens the senses and communicates with the earth.
The first objective of the forest bath walks is not to do physical exercise or hiking, so it does not involve any effort. Usually these walks are of a kilometer and a half of two to four hours.
Devote Time To It.
Bathing in the forest requires development with nature, so this requires time.
Pay Attention, Slow Down And Open Your Senses.
Let the messages of the earth and nature enter the mind and heart.
It Is Not Just A Walk.
The walk is important, but there are other routines that will deepen the relationship with nature, some of them are the concentration to communicate with other species.
Several studies have analyzed the psychological and physiological benefits of this practice. Among them, the following stand out:
It has been seen that walks of 40 minutes or more in the forest improve moods and feelings of health and strength.
It Minimizes Stress.
Several pathologies are reduced such as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and skin problems. Overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, memory and concentration deficits, weight gain and heart disease.
It Enhances Creativity.
Spending time in nature enhances creativity. But for this benefit to be achieved, one would have to be immersed in nature for a longer period of time.
It Strengthens The Immune System.
Stress hormones can compromise the immune system. But the forest bath helps reduce cortisol production while strengthening the defense system.
Other Benefits Of The Forest Bath.
It increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, contributes to an increase in energy, reduces heart rate, increases intestinal activity and improves rest.
As you will see, this activity is very easy to perform and does not require special equipment or a physical condition. So if you have the opportunity to try to include Shinrinyoku in your life, be sure to try these positive effects.