Bonne et Belle

5 Reasons to Try Forest Bathing

Anita Webster
Anita Webster

When you step into a forest, you can almost feel the hustle and bustle of life drop away. As you breathe in the pine-scented air and listen to the rustling of the leaves, your brain and body begin to relax in ways that aren’t possible in the middle of our busy, hectic lives. No traffic, sirens, text messages, or ringing phones – it’s just you and nature.

This is what forest bathing feels like.

Based on the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku, forest bathing is the practice of taking in the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of the forest using your five senses. It is not just hiking or walking, and it isn’t bird-watching or sightseeing. Instead, forest bathing is the intentional action of connecting with nature and experiencing the natural world.

Why Forest Bathing?

Our modern lifestyles have drastically minimized our opportunities to interact with nature. Outside of mowing the lawn or watering the occasional houseplant, many of us never have an opportunity or reason to leave our urban environment and experience the joys of flora and fauna. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends over 90% of their time either indoors or in a vehicle.

That’s why it’s so important that we take time to step out and experience the outdoors.

What exactly can forest bathing do for you? Here are 5 reasons to give it a try.

  1. Breathe Easier
    While forest bathing isn’t exercise, being in nature does have proven health benefits that include reduced blood pressure, lower heart rate, and lower levels of stress hormones. Breathing in the air of the forest serves as a natural form of aromatherapy, promoting feelings of calm and relaxation.
  2. Unplug
    You won’t need any phones, cameras, or devices during your forest bathing experience. In fact, these things are distractions that pull you away from the benefits of nature. Most of us spend several hours a day on our computers or phones, which can be hard on us both physically and mentally. When you walk through the forest, you’ll step away from screens and focus on what you can see, hear, smell, and touch as you observe the plants and animals around you.
  3. Boost Your Mood
    Nature is a natural mood booster, and science shows that encounters with nature have wonderfully positive effects on our brains. For example, the color green has the power to improve mood and reduce anxiety, and certain beneficial microbes found in forest soil act as natural antidepressants. For most of us, though, experiencing nature is about more than the scientific benefits. It’s about reconnecting with where we came from as we step out of our modern lifestyles and enjoy simple beauties that so often get overlooked.
  4. Decrease Stress and Anxiety
    The stress-busting power of nature is well documented, and most of us understand it intuitively. It’s why cities invest in building parks and planting trees, and it’s why we love to go hiking, walking, or picnicking when we can. Forest bathing takes these experiences to the next level by intentionally slowing down and taking time to look closely at the natural world around us. It’s one of the best stress-relieving activities you’ll ever experience.
  5. Practice Mindfulness
    Mindfulness is all about centering ourselves in the moment, experiencing the place and time we’re in to the fullest extent possible. During your forest bathing walk, you’ll take time to drink in your surroundings as you explore secluded fields, woods, and water features.



At Bonne et Belle, we believe nature has restorative power that can melt away stress and calm your mind. Our certified nature therapy guide, Anita Webster, will help you make the most of your forest bathing experience through guided walks, invitations to explore the environment through your senses, and opportunities to share with others.

We invite you to come experience the stress-relieving power of forest bathing with us.

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