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  • Ellen Mary

Forest Bathing

Do you ever walk amongst trees? We have many forests across the UK, some ancient and all beautiful - but do you take the time to go for a walk?

Forest bathing isn't about braving the weather in your bikini and taking a selfie in woodland for Instagram. Its about the ability nature has to connect with us in ways we still don't fully appreciate.

Did you know Japan has the highest life expectancy? I've been reading a book called Ikigai (pronounced eee-kee-guy I think) all about the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. There are numerous elements not least the ability to focus deeply on a task at hand (mindfulness in daily practice) but also their active outdoor lifestyle which includes gardening and the ability to connect with nature.

No surprise then that forest bathing was initially a concept from Japan which has more recently been picked up here in the UK and across the world. It totally makes sense but sometimes, in our busy lives we forget what nature is, how it effects us and how we have this extraordinary responsibility to look after it - since it basically keeps us alive!

So, forest bathing is the practice of taking a stroll in a forest for health benefits and studies have measured stress hormones in people who regularly walk in forests in Japan. On top of this, its been discovered that those with diabetes who do not have to use insulin noticed a decrease in blood glucose levels. It reduces stress, can improve focus, boosts your immune system and improves sleep.

It is scientifically proven to enhance wellbeing. A totally natural feel good factor!

If you go to a forest, don't speed on through, don't check your apple watch or fitbit, try not to even take any photos. Just take a walk and breath in the air. Its about relaxing rather than accomplishing and your blood pressure should drop due to the natural oils from the trees in the air.

Let nature do its remarkable thing and in return look after nature.


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