Are you living in London and looking to take time for yourself, reduce stress and reconnect with nature? The art of forest bathing could be for you…
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the rush of London, or any city for that matter, stressing about work, family, friends, oh and did I forget to mention, work? Believe it or not, something as simple as taking time out to reconnect with nature can be all we need to overcome, or at least begin to manage, those feelings of stress and anxiety. We recently attended Clair de Boursac’s forest bathing session and couldn’t recommend it enough.
“Claire guides participants gently through a calming and restorative session”
I’m sure we all recognise the feeling of peace that accompanies an escape to the country; it’s this feeling and the experience of reconnecting with nature that underpins forest bathing (shinrin yok0) – a practice developed in Japan during the 1980s and the cornerstone of Japanese preventative healthcare.
Combining meditation, mindful awareness, and nature-therapy-based practices, Claire de Boursac guides participants gently through a calming and restorative session in the woodland of North London. Significant research underpins Claire’s work, with evidence for the positive benefits of forest bathing mental and physical wellbeing ever increasing.
Having had an emotionally challenging day, I entered into my first forest bathing session attempting to be open-minded but (admittedly) wishing I was at home watching Netflix. What occurred over the next couple of hours was evidence of the fact that pushing yourself to do get out and do something that you’re not entirely in the mood for can be incredibly healing – especially when that something involves reconnecting with nature.
The session allowed me the opportunity to find peace with myself and, put simply, take a break from the hectic nature of life. While every session and experience will be unique, you will take something away from a forest bathing session – this could be something you’ve learned about yourself or about nature, it could be significant or it could be a reminder of the obvious.
While it’s, of course, possible to attend with someone you know, I can’t recommend attending alone strongly enough.
What can forest bathing help with?
According to research, forest bathing can contribute towards
- reduced stress levels
- lower heart rate
- lower cortisol levels
- reduced negative thinking/rumination
- increased well-being
- increased empathy
- increased creative thinking
We’re excited to see forest bathing being practised in London – have a watch of this VIDEO to get an idea of what a session might involve.