When to Bring the Outdoors, Indoors

20

Forest bathing is a great form of mobile meditation that involves immersing yourself in a forest setting. Done correctly, the practice promotes a sense of relaxation and well-being. Some people have even seen physical benefits from forest bathing, including lower blood pressure and heart rate. While many people prefer to go outside for forest bathing, it’s possible to get the same benefits indoors. 

Those who want to try forest bathing indoors need to create a serene, natural environment inside of their home. All it takes is a little forethought to setting and a few simple, affordable products. If you’re suffering from stress, depression, anxiety or general restlessness or brain fog, consider giving forest bathing a try. Why not see what the practice can do for you?

What is forest bathing?

Forest bathing involves taking in every aspect of the forest, including the sights, smells and sounds. Also called shinrin-yoku, the process of forest bathing is fairly common in Japan. It doesn’t necessarily involve actual bathing in a forest river or stream—rather, it’s the practice of communing with nature.

Japan developed forest bathing during the 1980s as a method of mobile meditation. The Japanese would go on to perform a long study on the benefits of forest bathing, and found that the practice promotes better immune system function. The country even made forest bathing part of its national health program. 

Forest bathing is an even more essential practice these days, as many people spend significant time indoors. Even a few moments convening with nature through forest bathing can benefit physical and mental health. Most people find it difficult to de-stress after a long day’s work, even when they’re at home. However, when enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of nature, these same individuals often find it easier to stop and take a breath. 

How to forest bathe inside your home

While traditional forest bathing involves bathing outdoors for a fully immersive experience, many either don’t have or don’t prefer this option. Some people live in large cities where finding a natural setting is difficult. All isn’t hopeless for those individuals, though. There are plenty of great ways to mimic the practice of forest bathing in your own home.

There are plenty of products you might use to bring the outdoors inside, including using essential oils made from forest plants. Essential oils from trees include pine, cedar, juniper, and cypress. Simply add one of these essential oils to a diffuser and you’ll have the healing power of a forest in your own home. Add in nature sounds and arrange house plants to make the setting complete. It takes surprisingly little to mimic the serene stillness of the forest.

Some people prefer a nighttime setting for their forest bath, to enhance the mood and further steep themselves in the ambiance of a wilder atmosphere. Practicing in the dark will also help heighten your other senses, bringing those scents and sounds to life with robust authenticity. 

The benefits of forest bathing

Forest bathing offers the chance to get away from all the stresses of life. During the practice, an individual’s sole focus should be on the natural setting—meaning no cell phone, television or radio. In order to reap all the benefits of forest bathing, it’s important to fully immerse yourself in the forest setting. 

One of the main benefits of forest bathing is relaxation, best achieved by slowing down and taking time to breathe. Aside from offering a sense of relaxation, forest bathing has also been known to help lower blood pressure, boost mood, accelerate healing and much more. It’s a natural way to de-stress, soothe anxieties, moderate depression symptoms and clear your head. 

While you might not see the benefits of forest bathing right away, you’re sure to notice them over time. Forest breathing can help greatly reduce stress, which could, in turn, help lower blood pressure, promote better sleep and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. If you’re looking for a way of relieving stress without leaving the home, why not give forest bathing a try? It’s easy to do and can last as long as you want. 

Bring the benefits of forest bathing into your home

There are a multitude of benefits to forest bathing. To get the most out of the practice, you’ll want to do it frequently. Turning your home into a place of tranquility using the sounds of nature and essential oils indicative of the forest is something you can do weekly, as a way to absolve yourself of the stresses of everyday life. Simply laying back and enjoying the sounds and smells of nature will greatly improve your day. Forest bathing allows you to take a few moments from your day to just relax and breathe.

Keep in mind that indoor forest bathing is a substitute for the real thing. If ever given the chance to commune with nature in a real forest bathing setting, take it! Nothing quite compares to the authenticity of natural sights, sounds, smells and the ambiance of immersing yourself in a truly holistic return to nature. 

Lake Oconee Health produces engaging content in order to be a relevant health and wellness resource for our readers across the region.