I’ve been mentioning forest bathing on my social media quite a bit recently and sorry if it’s getting a little bit boring and I promise this will be the last time I mention it (for a while at least!) but you really should go do it.
So in my last post I did a photo series from my time forest bathing. (Link’s just there if you wanna check it out.) And I was updating my Instagram stories regularly that day of mine and Willow’s time in the wild, so I’m just gonna explain what it is a little bit more.
Forest bathing’s great and even better for your well-being. Living in a city is pretty chaotic most of the time and sometime you just need to reconnect with nature. Bristol’s great in that sense. You’ve got the Downs, Ashton Court and just a little bit outside of the city is Leigh Woods.
The term comes from the Japanese, Shinrin-Yoku which means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’. The practice has positive benefits and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Go to a forest/woodland and just be present in that moment. Breathe in the air around, zone your ears out so you can hear the wind rustling through the leaves, birds cawing as they fly overhead and insects & animals rustling in the undergrowth. It’s pure bliss.
There are so many health benefits to doing it! It reduces blood pressure, stress and for me, my anxiety. It boosts your immune system, your mood and energy levels.
And it’s not only in Japan where countries use a similar practice. In Sweden, Norway & Finland they have something called ‘freedom to roam’ which is a human right to explore and be in nature. I found a great video about it, which I’ve shared on my Facebook page, that goes into more detail.
It’s also something you can do with your four legged pal. Be adventurous together and really dive into it. Leigh Woods has this fantastic hidden walk with takes you down this really steep slope or you can just stick to the manmade paths. Snuff Mills has this wonderful little wild flower garden you can walk through then opens up to the woodland and some open spaces, there’s even a river to walk beside.
Being in nature really brings my childish side out, I get distracted by everything. The plants, the dogs or insects. Walking in woodland really gives me this nostalgic feeling and I instantly forget my troubles and all I want to do is put my face into some plants, even better if a dog comes up for a pet.
All images taken by myself and on my Google Pixel.