Scenic Photo of Forest with Sunlight

Forest Hobbies

On the benefits of spending time in a forest, forest bathing, and forest hobbies.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir in: John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

Forests are good for us as individuals

Forests are good for us humans, not just as a species, but also as individuals:

Wilderness and related studies clearly demonstrate that being in a forest environment has a positive effect on people, while results from other studies indicate that contacts with forest environments provide multiple positive physiological and psychological effects on human health that included decreasing the blood pressure and heart rate and reducing anxiety and stress.

Forest experience and psychological health benefits: the state of the art and future prospect in Korea | Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity; it provides protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe man who destroys it.

Gautama Buddha in: Ribbon of Sand: The Amazing Convergence of the Ocean and the Outer Banks

Research suggests that being around trees is good for our mental and social well-being.

Why Forest Bathing Is Good for Your Health (berkeley.edu)

Forests are the ‘lungs’ of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Studies reported the positive impact of forest therapy on hypertension, cardiac and pulmonary function, immune function, inflammation, oxidative stress, stress, stress hormone, anxiety, depression, and emotional response.

Health and well-being benefits of spending time in forests: systematic review | BioMed Central

These traits inspired the concept of forest bathing.

What is forest bathing?

crop woman in bath in forest
Forest bathing isn’t about taking an actual bath in the forest.

The term emerged in Japan in the 1980s as a physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”). The purpose was twofold: to offer an eco-antidote to tech-boom burnout and to inspire residents to reconnect with and protect the country’s forests.

Forest bathing: what it is and where to do it | National Geographic

Or more simply put:

Forest bathing is mindful time spent under the canopy of trees for health and wellbeing purposes.

Getting back to nature: how forest bathing can make us feel better | The Guardian

Green Leafed Tree
Forest bathing is about mindfully soaking in nature.

The study of forest bathing reinforces the findings of the studies mentioned before:

Japanese researchers have studied “forest bathing” — a poetic name for walking in the woods. They suspect aerosols from the forests, inhaled during a walk, are behind elevated levels of Natural Killer or NK cells in the immune system, which fight tumors and infections.

Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health – Yale E360

Even a short forest bath is beneficial:

[…] even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.

The Benefits of ‘Forest Bathing’ | TIME

The forest is a great environment for hobbies

The benefits of spending time in the forest make it a great environment for pursuing hobbies.

Forest Hobbies List

Each hobby page is designed to inspire and help you get started.

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