by Yvette Hickman
Forests are environments of wonderful serenity, immense beauty, and fresh clean air. Personally, I feel wonderful when I take a walk through a forest. I feel more at ease, think more clearly, and leave in a better mood. Many of you have probably had the same experience. And a growing body of scientific evidence confirms that visiting a forest does have quantifiable effects, both physiological and psychological.
In the 1980s, Japan developed a practice called ‘forest bathing’ (‘Shinrin-yoku’), which has become a basic part of their preventative health care. It involves spending time under a forest canopy, walking slowly, and opening up all five of the senses to the surroundings. Essentially, ‘taking in the forest atmosphere.’