back to top

    Exploring the Health Benefits of Forest Bathing


    Everyday life is becoming increasingly stressful and hectic, with people spending more and more time in front of screens. This has taken a toll on society, leading to deteriorating mental and physical health. Fortunately, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that spending time in nature is the answer to these issues. Forest bathing, a practice that involves immersing oneself in nature, is gaining popularity as an effective way to restore health and well-being.

    Here are the top 7 reasons to spend as much time as possible outdoors, surrounded by forests:

    Credits: State Forests/ Photo retrieved from Pexels

    Improving short-term memory

    There was a study among a group of students at the University of Michigan. It was a short-term memory test. The students were divided into two groups. The first went for a walk in the woods and the second was to walk along a city street. After returning, the youngsters solved the same test once again. It turned out that those in the group that went for a walk in the forest scored 20 per cent higher the second time. The other group did not improve their performance. Similar studies were performed several times. The conclusions were always similar – nature walks improved short-term memory performance.

    Stress relief

    Researchers have proven that being outdoors reduces levels of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. Those who were close to nature always had reduced levels of the hormone after a while. In nature, we use involuntary attention, which requires no effort on our part. This is when our mind relaxes.
    The results of a PBS survey prepared for the State Forest Information Centre in 2020 showed that the people of Poland recognise the therapeutic potential of the forest. 90 per cent of respondents believe that being in a forest has a beneficial effect on a person’s mental condition, and 86 per cent of respondents agreed that walking in the forest significantly reduces blood pressure and stress levels.

    Strengthening the immune system

    Nothing strengthens us more than walking in the fresh air. It promotes the building up of our body’s immune system. And these aren’t just grandma’s hoaxes to get us out of the house when we were little. Getting outdoors is self-prescribed medicine for a mild cold, flu or other such infections.

    Rest

    Forest bathing is becoming increasingly popular in Poland. The fashion for this practice came to us from the Far East, more precisely from Japan. The main idea is to relax and calm down. The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing on the leaves, the fresh, clean air – all these things put us in a better mood. Forest bathing is nothing more than immersion in the forest, actually communing with nature.

    Increased concentration

    Being outdoors not only has a soothing effect but also improves our ability to concentrate. This has such a powerful effect that it is increasingly being used in work with children with ADHD. In some trials, it has been shown that even a 20-minute walk in the park makes children able to focus their attention better than usual and for longer periods of time.

    Improving creativity

    Imagine a therapy that costs nothing but raises your creativity to ever higher levels. This therapy is communing with nature. In one experiment, it was shown that people who stayed close to nature for four days, when they returned to work, solved creativity tests 50 per cent better than before the trip.

    More in section

    2,222FansLike
    359FollowersFollow
    1,164FollowersFollow