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October 10, 2020 1 min read

It's World Mental Health Day, and in these unprecedented times it's important to take care of yourself more than ever. For the next 6 weeks we'll be exploring different facets of mental health and self care.


For our first step on this journey, let's explore the Japanese tradition of forest baths, or Shinrin-Yoku. Several studies have shown that phytochemicals in the trees and plants, as well as the practice of slowing down and focusing on one's surrounding, have wonderful benefits for the nervous system (and thus mental health).


 

Shinrin-Yoku is the traditional Japanese practice of immersion in nature and mindful focus on the five senses, e.g. smelling the aroma of the earth, seeing the details of the bark of a tree, listening to the gentle breeze through the trees, and slowly tasting a packed lunch or snack. During the 1980s, Shinrin-Yoku surfaced in Japan as a​n​ important part of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

The studies have shown that the effects not only encourage mental relaxation, but also boost the immune system, help alleviate respiratory ailments, depression and anxiety, and the list goes on. 

We know you're probably not in Japan, but you can practice this yourself in any bit of forest you can find close to home! Share this blog post with someone who you want to practice Shinrin-Yoku with.


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