Have you ever heard of “forest bathing”? It is a practice of therapeutic relaxation where one spends time in a forest or other natural atmosphere, at a slow pace, without distraction, focusing on sensory engagement, in order to connect with nature and to de-stress. Certain trees and plants release compounds including essential oils that can be beneficial to our mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The practice originated in Japan as a result of increased urbanization and societal stress levels, and has gained popularity in the USA. I attended one in Chester NJ earlier this summer. Check this website for year round schedules: www.
- Listening to forest sounds, i.e. birds and insects.
- Touching the ground, the trees, and the leaves.
- Smelling the flowers and other essential oils of the plants and trees.
- Observing the surroundings and scenery
- Tasting the crispiness of the air while breathing
It is still a nice time of year to try this! Please see this NPR article about Forest Bathing!