1-Sentence-Summary: Forest Bathing explores the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku, a kind of forest therapy based on immersion in nature, and the various health and wellbeing benefits we can derive from it to live better, calmer lives.
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Favorite quote from the author:
According to the book, we spend almost 90% of our day inside. Although we find comfort in closed spaces like our homes, our offices, or inside convenient means of transportation, this is quite detrimental to our health.
After spending a long day enclosed in these spaces, most people feel the need to take a break and boost their energy levels. A vacation sounds excellent, but it‘s not easily accessible. However, a walk in the park is definitely achievable.
You may notice that after taking in the fresh air and natural landscapes, your body feels refreshed. Well, you’re not the only one! The Japanese developed a culture behind this healing state of mind coming from nature, and it’s called Forest Bathing.
The book, written by Dr. Qing Li, centers around this natural medicine and its proven benefits. It presents many useful insights and lessons. Among them, here are my three favorite ones:
- When forest bathing, it’s important to truly engage with nature.
- Restore your connection with nature by touching and tasting it.
- Bringing indoors elements from nature can help you forest-bathe at home.
Lesson 1: Forest bathing implies a connection between nature, you, and a state of meditation.
The urban chaos is both beautiful and stressful. Although we feel as if the city is our natural habitat, a walk in the forest will make us reconsider that. According to the book, just gazing into the forest can decrease our stress levels by up to 60%!
Therefore, you ought to reconnect with nature by following a few simple steps. Firstly, find your ideal forest-bathing location. This is especially important because we have to connect with the place, and for that, we must like it.
Once you find your forest-bathing location, do nothing. That is exactly what you have to do. Admire nature’s patterns and smell the fresh air. If you find it odd to sit in silence, without urban noises, that’s completely normal. The key is to focus on your breathing.
Lesson 2: Engage your body senses with nature using touch and taste.
Touching nature allows you to physically interact with it, creating a powerful healing connection. Picking up rocks, twigs, leaves, and pretty much any natural element from your surrounding allows you to experience a deeper interrelation.
From a scientific point of view, the benefits of these practices are incontestable. Nature has a low electric charge which balances our electrons when we make contact with them. You can benefit from this healing process by grounding yourself.
To do that, you can walk for about 20 minutes with your bare feet on grass or soil. However, pay attention not to touch glass or other pesticide-sprayed surfaces. Another thing you can do to empower this connection is tasting the forest food.
Savoring berries, tree fruits, or edible plants you may come across can excite your senses through your taste buds. This will make you feel happy and awaken your sense of wonder. You’ll be happy to learn that they also contain healing electrons from the earth.
Lesson 3: Don’t just forest-bathe in nature, but also at home.
Ideally, you would want to forest bathe every time you feel down, need an energy boost, or just some peace of mind. However, most of the time, our personal and professional lives leave us little time to do these kinds of things.
But not to worry! You can bring a little bit of nature inside your personal space by decorating it with plants, scented candles, or natural oils. They all have great benefits on our stress levels and implicitly, our health. And they make our houses look amazing!
You can brighten up your space with a few potted plants that will improve your air quality by taking in carbon dioxide. Some plants, like succulents, can also do that without light, so they are a great addition to your sleeping area.
Essential oils, such as redwood or pine oils, can help recreate a forest ambiance. You can disperse them using candles or specific devices. You’ll be pleased to know that, like plants, they also release phytoncides, which are antimicrobial compounds.
Forest Bathing Review
Dr. Qing Li offers valuable pieces of advice on how to benefit from the natural healing power of trees. Born into the Japanese culture, his insights on forest bathing are authentic and relevant, giving a great deal of knowledge to his readers. The book provides simple, yet meaningful guidance for finding health, happiness, and fulfillment in the simplicity of forests. Readers will reconnect not just with nature, but themselves, after taking on Dr. Li’s lessons.
Who would I recommend our Forest Bathing summary to?
The person interested in nature’s effect on human health, the forest lover, the Japanese culture enthusiast, or the person curious about natural medications and treatments for the mind and body.
Last Updated on May 25, 2023