The Benefits of Forest-Bathing

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. We went on a quick vacation to Tahquamenon Falls and had a good time. We hiked along the river and got some great pictures. I love getting out into nature, it’s so calming and good for you, too! Experts are calling it Forest bathing.

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I mentioned it last week in a post and I thought I’d dig a little deeper. Forest bathing originated in Japan where it is called Shinrin-Yoku. Why is walking through a forest beneficial for us?

That is a very good question. The reason traipsing through the woods is good for us is because we inhale phytoncides when we breathe in the forest. These are antimicrobial volatile compounds derived from trees.

 

Photo via Visual Hunt

These phytoncides are released by the trees and plants as a defense mechanism against fungus, bacteria, and even animals. These compounds are good for humans as well. According to one study, they enhanced the destructive mechanism in our cells that kill the cell when its time has run out. It also enhanced the anti-cancer proteins production.  Now that is good news.

To put this in layman’s terms, breathing in phytoncides enhances our own natural defenses.  I think this is incredible. It supports the theory that we’re all connected, with each other, and with nature. Wouldn’t you agree?

Not only is forest bathing physically healthy it’s also psychologically good for us, too. It has been found to be advantageous to people who are dealing with chronic stress. I can attest to the stress-relieving benefits of walking through nature, but now I have scientific proof. Yay Me! For more info about this, check out this post from Huffington Post.

Huffington Post

It’s important in our hustle and bustle world that we teach our kids how to take care of themselves, and one of the things we need to teach them is how to decompress. Not only is forest bathing a great way to relieve stress, it’s a great way to reconnect with your family. It’s important to reconnect with our loved ones. It’s vital to everyone’s psychological health.

 

Photo via VisualHunt.com

So get out into the forest and get moving! It’s good for your body and your soul. Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear your thoughts on forest bathing so leave a comment. Or maybe you have other stress relieving habits you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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45 Responses to The Benefits of Forest-Bathing

  1. Beautiful pictures. I love walking in a forest and some of my favorite pictures on recent vacation where forest pictures. Yes to destressing. I love the different shades of green and how the light gets filtered through the trees.

  2. I read your title and pictured a wooden tub filled with water out in the wilderness! I was like… a forest spa?

    I liked what you had to tell us much bett than a spa out in nature! This is the kind of spa I can afford! I used to go hiking a lot, and I miss it. I used to be healthier too but I thought it was all the walking. However I walkmore now than I used to. So it must have be the … pho… yes! You know what mean! Thank you for sharing this, I need to go forest bathing!

  3. blondieaka says:

    I pictured a natural pool in the forest ….I have been in a few of those over the years generally very cold 🙂 But loved your reasoning requarding a forest bathing 🙂 Not what I expected 🙂

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  5. My husband loves forest-bathing. It’s how he communes with his higher power.😍

  6. We get out into a woods quite often. We are lucky where we live! I never thought of it in this way before but yes, it makes so much sense.

  7. Gary says:

    Super post Lisa; I love forests and woods although my perspective is often to do with history and time; especially in old and ancient ones that have grown around lost civilisations. A demonstration that we are not necessarily permanent custodians of the planet. Fabulous places to walk through though and you can feel the days heat subdued and a freshness to the air that inspires. Of course they are referred to as the lungs of the earth; a shame we don’t look after them properly sadly.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      You’re so right, Gary. I wish we took better care of our planet.

      • Gary says:

        I think it ties in with the previous discussions on social responsibility and not just blaming others for everything. Life is a pretty special thing and we take it for granted at great peril to long term survival sadly.

      • Lisa Orchard says:

        I know. It’s so sad. 😦 Many people think money is the top priority when in reality it’s our health and the health of our planet that’s the top priority.

      • Gary says:

        My theory on this is that evolution was based on survival; hunter gatherer and farming. It kept us in touch with nature. As time moved on technology replaced that part and the hunting instinct turned into chasing money with nature seen as disposable. Along the way we have lost the ability to stay in tune with the planet sadly

      • Lisa Orchard says:

        So true. Gary. I’d love to turn this trend around.

  8. Traci York says:

    That first picture is awesome, Lisa! And now I have a name for what I do – I usually just call it, “If anyone’s looking for me, I’ll be hiding in the woods.” 😎

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks, Traci. It was taken with my phone. Those cameras are awesome.

      I had a feeling you were a woodswoman! I am, too. I’m going to increase my hiking time now that I have scientific proof it’s good for me. 🙂

  9. Christy B says:

    Ahhhh nature! Forest bathing calms the spirit, mind, and body 🙂 🙂 I’ll be including this lovely post in my recommendations next Friday (the inspiration roundup post). Hugs

  10. masgautsen says:

    Lovely photos! I love walking om the forest.

  11. SDC says:

    Oh yay! A friend and I were just up at Tahquamenon in June 😊😊😊 After a rain overflow. Amazing as always.

  12. Denzil says:

    Hi Lisa, I fully agree; walking in forests is excellent for one’s mental and emotional health. I guest blogged on this topic here: https://happinessbetweentails.com/2017/01/04/guest-blog-post-walking-in-the-forest-is-good-for-my-soul-in-denzil-waltons-exact-words/ However, I did smile at the phrase “Forest Bathing”. I guess it’s a bit more upmarket than “Walking in the Woods!”

  13. arv! says:

    a hike in woods is all that one needs to feel fresh and happy. I love to hike.

  14. susielindau says:

    I love that there is a term for it!

  15. There is an ancient stand of cedar and Douglas fir about 30 minutes from my home. I like to go there often for a dose of tree wisdom. Now that I know about phytoncides I have another good reason to visit these giants. Thanks. I learned something today ❤

  16. Love those forest scenes. An outside bath with a fire lit underneath it, candles burning, watching the stars, surrounded by trees. BLISS 🙂

  17. angelanoelauthor says:

    I just got back from a trail run and I’m hoping all the heavy breathing I did sucked in even more of these beneficial little buggers! I love trail running for so many reasons, and now I can love it even more! Nature is constantly surprising me. Thank you for the post, Lisa. I feel inspired by the goodness.

  18. Pingback: Weekly Inspiration Roundup (Vol. 5) | When Women Inspire

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