Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book review: Forest Bathing

Click here to buy.

So weird story. I was poking around the internets and I saw an ad for an event called "moonlight forest bathing." In my mind, I imagined a bunch of people in old timey tin bathtubs in the woods just like, hanging out. I investigated a little more and found out that forest bathing is a completely different thing (also, this event was in Maryland, so I didn't go). 

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku as it's called in Japan, is the act of simply being in nature, and "bathing" in it with all five of your senses. It's a counter movement to the nature deficit that's plaguing us. 

This book was awesome to read. The language is simple, yet almost poetic in its prose. Couple that with the full color photographs on almost every page, and I felt ten thousand times calmer just reading a couple pages. 

Forest Bathing presented lots of research and data about the psychological and physical effects of nature in such a way that it was easy to understand and interesting to think about. Also, this is apparently a growing movement around the world, and especially in Finland (as if I needed more reasons to be obsessed with Finland). 

Dr. Qi presents practical tips for forest bathing, since not all of us live near a forest (any green will do, even a little park), most of us work in offices (a small plant or even pictures of green make us happier!), and sometimes we can't get away (essential oils and tea are your friends). 

Here were some of my favorite pages:

Tips for enjoying tea. And life. 

I loved this book so much, I bought a copy for myself. Most times, when I check out a library book I return it and that's that. But I wanted to own this one. It's sad that we've reached a point in our civilization where we need a "how to" book on how to be outside--even more sad that we need scientific reasons to back it all up. But hopefully reading this book will educate people on the benefits of the natural world, and kick us all in the pants to take care of our planet, ourselves, and that tenuous relationship a little more carefully. 

Further reading:

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