Forest therapy, or “forest bathing”, is a new way to relax and destress by disconnecting from your phone and spending time in nature.
TOLEDO, Ohio — If you’re looking for a way to relax and break away from your electronic devices, give forest therapy a try!
Forest therapy is rooted in the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, which is translated as “forest bathing.” It helps enhance our ability to engage with nature through a sensory and emotional connection.
It’s gained popularity throughout the world, and it’s something you can do right in our backyard!
Metroparks Toledo has certified for therapy guides that can help you along with way to experience the natural environment with all your senses.
If you’re interested in practicing forest therapy, here are a few ways you can do so:
- Sit comfortably and notice your breath
- Notice anything that takes you away from the awareness of your breath whether it’s a sound I thought or sensation.
- If you happen to notice something else see if you can engage with that other than your breath to try to let that awareness and move past you and ease your attention back to your breath.
There are many benefits to forest therapy; not only does it help you relax, but it could also help you sleep better at night. One study shows that forest therapy can even reduce stress hormones, have a positive impact on blood pressure and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Although the occasional forest therapy outing may help you unwind for a few hours, you need to engage in forest therapy regularly – at least 20 to 30 minutes several times a week – to get the proper benefits of the therapy.
The Association for Nature & Forest Therapy website has more information on forest therapy.