Forest bathing: the green mindfulness that celebrities adore
We will tell you how to give yourself a forest bath like the famous ones and what you must do to get all the benefits of your getaways to the countryside.
Forest mindfulness is how modernity has coined it. Walks in the woods paying full attention to what is happening around us, from an approaching butterfly to a chirping bird or the distant sound of a creek, are no longer tree huggers but a matter of public health. Since the 1980s, Japan has included them in their health consultations – under shinrin you – as one more preventive measure with a balanced diet and regular physical exercise. There they are practiced by between 1 and 2 million people a year in one of the recommended therapeutic itineraries. Here we already have celebrities like Cristina Pedroche, Sara Carbonero, Judith Mascó, and Paula Echevarría practicing walks through the countryside in a mindfulness version. Outside has passionate as Amanda Seyfried. There must be a reason.
Alex Jesse, one of the most excellent experts on shinrin-yoku, states that this technique, which was installed in Japan in the 1980s to reduce high stress and anxiety at work, literally means ‘absorbing the atmosphere of the forest.’
But what is so good about your getaways to Candeleda, Irati, Montseny, or the Montejo beech forest that you don’t know? Well, to begin with, the last of these destinations has been recognized by the magazine ‘V’ajar’ as one of the 12 most recommended forests to immerse yourself in a shining you. Clear improvement in physical and mental health is achieved, according to the study ‘Forest bathing, a health proposal. This report, the first in our country with scientific evidence, has been prepared jointly by the Health and Environment Observatory of the DKV Institute for Healthy Living and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and aims to promote this practice as nutritional therapy. Above all, if we consider that in Spain more than 79% of the population lives in cities, a growing trend.
From obesity to the artist in you
Did you know that a walk among trees is responsible for making food taste better in the countryside? Contact with nature decreases the activity of the prefrontal cortex, responsible for cognitive functions such as planning. It increases it in other areas of the brain linked to empathy and emotions. Hence, the senses of taste or smell are amplified. In addition, it reduces anxiety, improves insomnia and mood, increases defenses, and decreases stress hormones, adiponectin, and glucose levels, which are directly related to obesity or type 2 diabetes.
If you are one of those, who explode like a hydra in the middle of a traffic jam in the capital, per”as “your “hing” will not be solved in a weekend, and you can rethink returning to town. According to the compilation of 13 scientific studies, people who live in green environments show much lower levels of irritability and aggressiveness than those who live in urban environments without nature nearby (in 2050, it is estimated that it will be two out of three people).
And suppose you are looking to unleash your creativity. In that case, it is proven that a ‘forest’bath’ can improve artistic abilities since the mind is in a state of relaxation, which favors concentration.
This does not imply that it is just a walk through the forest. They tell us from www.bañosde bosqueengredos.org. In fact, in the first experience, it is recommended that you go with a specialized professional who guides you through them, concentrating on those stimuli that the countryside offers us and directing us to disconnect from the stress and unhealthy habits of the city. It involves strolling, touching the water, the moss, the leaves, listening to the wind, inhaling its smells… It is a contemplative experience to awaken our hidden emotions and put aside the most urban thoughts.
The autumn forest baths are aimed at adults and take place during the week at www.hotelnabia.es (****), in Candeleda, for three days, where, in addition to having incomparable views of the Tiétar valley, It borders the Gredos nature reserve and specifically the Chilla forests. The POCO2H space, located in the Bosque-Río de Arbillas with various waterfalls and natural pools, invites guests to deepen their ecological awareness with the senses as a tool.
The Celtic forest baths are an experience designed for families who want to spend a weekend harmonizing with nature in standard plans for parents and children. This experience aims to train in the Japanese technique of shining you and understand its benefits for the immune and neurological systems. Forest bathing takes place between the cabins of the rural house El Paso de las Cigüeñas (www.pasociguenas.es), next to the Santa María gorge in Candeleda and the POCO2H space.
It is the opportunity to try their programs that include:
Mindfulness sessions for the senses of smell, sight, hearing, and touch are tools to approach the forest.
Mindfood sessions are designed by food experts with elaborations prepared with wild plants to learn various slow food techniques and fermented with forest plants while practicing mindfulness of the sense of taste.
Hatha yoga session in a setting with 360º views of Almanzor, Gredos, and the Tiétar valley.
Forest plants session walking through the forest river of Arbillas, observing the healing properties of its flora, as well as the use of medicinal herbs
Tao Bekasi’s concert was inspired by the sounds of the forest.
This is how it is practiced.
Ready to apply some methods to your walks? Beforehand, park your mobile; done don’t have to document everything on Instagram, although our celebrities like to do it). Here is the decalogue of the study of the Health and Environment Observatory for an excellent green dip:
1. Dust off the road. It is about imitating what some animals do in nature, which shakes their bodies rapidly for a few seconds to eliminate stress and reduce Corti”ol. “It is also worth taking a few breaths, tapping on the chest or any method that avoids mental evasions and takes us back to the present mo”ent,” says the study.
2. Gratitude. Observe the natural environment and follow your intuition to approach a tree or plant that catches your “ye. “Look at her and smile. It can be a good way to ‘introduce yourself to the fo”est.”
3. Senses. Pay attention to your skin and feel the temperature of the air, then to your ear to listen to the quietest sound, tune in to smell by identifying the smells around you, and look at the landscape as if it were the first time you see itWhat’shat’s in motion. The fast pace prevents seeing many things. Put the brakes on and dedicate yourself to contemplating. What items are moving nea” by? “Observe the different speeds of movement around”you.”
5. Silent footsteps. Walk as stealthily as a fox and with all your senses on all “rt. “Stop when something sparks your curiosity and give it your full attention as if your life depended o” it!”
6. Look closely. Find something reasonably small (like a beetle) and spend five minutes looking at it. What stands out the most? Is it different now than when you started looking at it?
7. Deer ears. Put your hands behind your ears for amplified hearing, and be alert to the forest’s subtle sounds.
8. Sniff. Belling plants that we know are not toxic or irritating is recommended. Crush the leaves to release the scent; comforting memories may come to mind.
9. Gift in the forest. Find three or four objects that attract you -leaves, sticks, moss, rocks, flowers…- and leave them as a gift for your vi”it. “Forget about making it perfect. Just play like a c”ild.”
10. Farewell. The forest is an ecosystem full of living beings. It’s like you just walked someone’sone’s house. Ask yourself: what did you like the most? Is there anything, in particular, you want to remember about ‘his ‘forest bath’?