Getting close to nature is good for your healthHave you ever been Forest Bathing? For those of you who have never heard of it, Forest Bathe is where you spend time in a forest and embrace the therapeutic energy from the trees and being close to nature. The Japanese first coined the phrase, shinrin-yoku, which literally means ‘forest-bath’. The sounds of the birds and wildlife in the forest, the smell of the trees, the way the sunlight dances through the leaves, and the clear air all work together to give us a feeling of wellbeing. A walk through woodland areas has been found to ease stress, help us relax and focus more clearly. Modern life has taken most of us away from the natural world and we spend more of our time indoors, relying on devices and screens to run our lives. But taking some time out to get close to nature can have extraordinary health benefits.
How to Forest Bathe
- Find a woodland spot (we’ve listed some of our favourite woodland areas in Cumbria below).
- Switch off all devices, or ideally leave them behind.
- Start walking at a leisurely pace in whatever direction you feel drawn to.
- Pay attention to your senses. Consciously take in the smells and sounds. Observe small details in the trees or watch the way the sun streams through the forest. How does it make you feel?