The Whole U
Forest Bathing is a new mindfulness practice. Credit: The Whole U

Mindfulness has become a sought-after activity in today’s fast paced world to lower anxiety, ease stress and find balance. And forest bathing takes mindfulness to the woods.

So what is forest bathing?

According to a recent story by The Whole U at University of Washington, “Forest Bathing (originally termed ‘shinrin-yoku’ from its founding roots in Japan) is the practice of slowing down and becoming immersed in the natural environment. The purpose is twofold: to offer an eco-friendly antidote to burnout and to inspire connection our nations forests. This form of eco-therapy allows participants to slow down and connect with nature. Through this practice, participants learn to tune in to the smells, textures, tastes and sights of the forest. They take in the surroundings by using all senses.”

Researchers at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences have long lauded the power of finding solace in the woods. Some of SEFS Assistant Professor Greg Bratman‘s research focuses on how time in nature is good for our health.

“There is an emerging body of evidence that indicates that exercising outdoors may be more beneficial for your well-being than [exercising] indoors,” Bratman said in a Newsday story.

Want to get started with your own forest bath? The Whole U has steps to get started here.