Forest bathing, or shinrin yoku, is a Japanese method of relaxing amongst trees, observing nature around you whilst breathing deeply.
Some think of it as meditative, but for many it is as simple as taking a walk and consciously connecting to the environment around you. Forest bathing encourages you to use all your senses to engage with your surroundings. What can you smell? What colours can you see? What do you feel?
Taking time to slow down and observe your natural surroundings in this way is proven to reduce stress and boost wellbeing. We recommend looking closely at decaying wood to spot colourful mushrooms, spotting wildflowers, and listening for birdcalls – even in the depths of winter you might see a colourful jay, or a red robin!
There are pockets of woodland across the UK to discover, find a forest or woodland near you using the Woodland Trust search tool. Even if you can’t get outside, you can still bring the forest indoors with these online videos.
If you want help to get started, try Forestry England’s online guide to forest bathing.