In Japanese, there is an idea of shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” Originating in the late 1900’s as a response to a rapid rise in technology, it provides us with powerful lessons about the art of mindfulness. It reminds us that the joy of life is often to be found in connecting with the world around us. It could completely change the way you view your day to day.
In this article, we explore the concept, showing you three easy ways to implement principles into your own life (whether you have easy access to a forest or not!)
Stepping out into nature
The benefits of spending time in nature have been documented for centuries; recent studies show that forest bathing (spending time in the forest) can boost both mood and the immune system.
Making connecting with nature a habit is what allows you to reap the benefits long-term. To do this, try to go for a walk at the same time each day. Why not take a pocket sized notebook with you and head out to journal your thoughts each morning? This is a great way to set yourself up for the day!
We recommend Octaveo’s range of passport notes - lightweight, slim and perfect for an early morning explore.
Connecting with your senses
One of the main elements of shinrin-yoku is connecting with the senses. Grounding oneself, particularly with the senses of sound and smell, allows you to return to the present moment and takes your mind away from future or past concerns. This type of mindfulness is critical to reducing stress!
There are also ways to emulate the sensory effects of forest bathing at home. Light some candles or incense and play relaxing music. Focus on observing what you experience rather than judging it. You can even do a mental dump on paper just to let all of your thoughts out.
Our Emma Cooter Draws People of the World Notepad is the perfect size for all your mental scribbles.
Taking a break from screens
Taking time to slow down and taking a break from digital screens are two of the major benefits of forest bathing. This is something that can be achieved and enjoyed in several ways within and outside of nature; detoxing from your tech offers several benefits, from decreasing stress to increasing productivity.
Journaling is a great habit to pick up in order to enjoy the slower moments. Sit back with a beautiful pen and let the ink strokes transport you to a calmer place.
For more reflections on slow living and for products that are an antidote to a stressful society, keep an eye on our page.
Written by Beth Longman