Orangeville, ON (Jason Mead) I’ve been in the woods almost every day since I moved to the country ten years ago. In addition to trees, plants, worms, and chipmunks, I see foxes, owls, porcupines, and bears when I’m out walking or running. It’s fun to hear leaves rustle in the breeze, acorns popping on the ground, fresh snow falling, or geese honking for the season.
This practice has a name, and some entrepreneurs charge for it. Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term for a workshop, and some workshop leaders use it. Other people call it Forest Bathing.
According to the research, it lessens stress. Unless I’m lost on a new trail or hear a thunderstorm approaching, being in nature is soothing.
I’m cynical, though. Putting a name to a phenomenon gives it more credibility. Likewise with Forest Bathing and what it claims to solve: Nature Deficit Disorder.
Putting a name on something has power. Know how to use it.