Forest Bathing. The Japanese anti-stress technique you will love

Forest Bathing. The Japanese anti-stress technique you will love

By María Álvarez Pérez, Sustainability Editor, Mona

 

We live in a time when there is almost a cure for everything: pills, vaccines, syrups, remedies ... however, it seems that our society is increasingly stressed by the rhythm of life we have especially in big cities. It is scientifically proven that very few pills can end chronic stress, at least not in a long term, that feeling of anguish and discomfort that we feel when we are nervous all the time.

 

Can you imagine that, with these symptoms, your doctor simply recommended you a walk in the woods? Well the truth is that this is not something so crazy, at least taking into account the latest research in this field.

 

Forest Bathing

 

 

For example, in Japan there is a curious term: 'Shinrin -Yoku', which means walking through nature with the five senses activated. That is, to surround yourself with the atmosphere of the forest which is commonly named as taking a "forest bath". And although it sounds very romantic, the term was coined by none other than the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 1982, and since then many experts and researchers have been willing to demonstrate the positive physiological effects of these activity.

 

What about the results? the subjects with whom they experimented with presented lower concentrations of cortisol (the stress hormone), a lower pulse frequency, lower blood pressure, greater parassympathetic nervous activity and less sympathetic nervous activity than in urban environments. Which means an almost more effective solution in comparison with preventive medicine.

 

In addition, not everything is only based on medical indexes, many experts say that this forest baths, these immersions in nature, also help us to be more creative and most importantly: happier. All this is because, being surrounded by nature, helps us to rest better and, therefore, to have more energy

 

Forest Bathing

 

 

In order to practice 'Shinrin-Yoku' correctly, very little is required:

 

• Connect with nature: which means to focus our mind on what surrounds us;

• Don't rush, and avoid excessive physical effort (walking vs. hiking/running);

• Dedicate time to experience and interact with the environment.

 

Who would say that something so beneficial could be so simple?. We, who spend our lives in search of the magic recipe, the final solution, do not realize that the solution was before us from the beginning of time.

And you? Do you dare to try it?

 

 

By María Álvarez Pérez, Sustainability Editor, Mona

 

María Álvarez Pérez