Did You Take a Forest Bath Today?
When I first heard of the concept of Forest Bathing, I thought it sounded strange. It’s an idea made popular in Japan and it’s all about time with nature. It seems simple, but just as we often don’t take time to soak in the tub, we often find ourselves too busy to spend time in nature. There are so many health benefits to walking in the woods or sitting under a tree. When you’re out in nature, you actually inhale the aromatherapy compounds from the plants around you called phytoncides. Take in all the scents around you, the freshness of the air, breath in and breathe out.
Walk and Meditate
I often do walking meditation focusing on each step as my one foot after the other touches the ground. I listen to all the sounds around me. Each of the unique bird songs and the rustling of the trees. I do my “Forest Bathing” in the morning walking my dog in the woods along a creek. I listen to the rippling and splashing of water as it hits rocks and fallen trees. I look at all the different vibrant green living things all around me and am in awe of nature. Twiggy the dog is always in awe sniffing and tasting new leaves.
Appreciate the Simple Moments
During the times I’m not able take a walk, I sit on my screen porch and look out at the huge birch tree right outside in my yard. It is grand and beautiful and ancient. It’s been there so many years I’m sure it’s been climbed by all the kids from all the families who lived in the house before me. How many of you climbed trees or had a tree fort when you were growing up?
It's these simple moments that connect us with ourselves. It’s the time we take to honor the one that we are. I’m always surprised to ask myself, “ Wow, why don’t I do this more often?” after I’ve let these lovely routines slip away during busy times. I can say I took a “Forest Bath” this morning. How about you?