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What is nature bathing?

Debated as a fitness or mental exercise, what exactly is nature bathing?
   
First of all, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with bathing outdoors! The term emerged in Japan in the 1980s as both a physical and mental exercise. The idea was to offer an eco-antidote to burnout and to encourage people to reconnect with and protect their nearby forests.    
  
Simply put, nature bathing involves immersing yourself in the area surrounding you, whilst appreciating and absorbing the different attributes, using all of the senses! Plus, it’s not just for those in love with the wilderness or walking; it can be performed in any natural environment and by any means, whether you like to walk, bike or paddle board!
    
Nature bathing has several health benefits, including reducing stress hormone production, increasing feelings of happiness and allowing you the opportunity to be creative. It has also been proven to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.     
   
Here are 5 simple tips for beginners: 
   
  • Turn off your devices and do your best to relax and truly immerse yourself in the sensory experience of nature.
  • Don’t rush! Try to aim for at least 2 hours to truly allow yourself the opportunity to relax. Move slowly, whilst being mindful so you can see and feel more. 
  • Make sure your breaths are deep into the abdomen, extending the length of inhalation, telling your body it is time to relax. 
  • Try to avoid thinking about your daily stresses, to-do lists and issues within life. 
  • Keep your eyes open, greens and blues are researched to be the best colours to help people relax.

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