Perks of Forest Bathing – Creativity to Happiness
There’s something mystic about nature. You feel something deep within when in the midst of nature – because it touches your spirit.
Only a few minutes in nature can make us feel grounded, healed and peaceful. Hence it has been a part and practice of ancient cultures to encourage this connection with nature.
Gautama Buddha, for instance, left his palace at a young age to attain moksha in the woods. He even advised his followers to meditate in the forest to reach higher states of consciousness. In today’s world, it’s called forest bathing.
What is Forest Bathing?
Proponents of forest bathing say that “by spending time amongst trees and woodland, people are able to reconnect with nature in a way that helps boost their creativity”.
What Happens in a Forest?
Forest environments are therapeutic landscapes. The presence of natural surroundings with lots of greens and open land has a positive impact, giving us strength, boosting our creativity, flushing away our negative energies, and filling us with a soothing calmness.
Just being surrounded by bountiful nature, rejuvenates and inspires us. As the American naturalist Edward Osborne Wilson had said, “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.”
How Forest Aids Creativity
Nature can enhance creative ways of thinking. In a study of backpackers in the US, it was found that participants were 50 per cent more creative after they had spent four days out on the trail. People were observed to be actually solving problems more creatively after they had unplugged in nature.
Shinrin-Yoku – The Magic of Forests
Being outdoors in nature is believed to enhance higher-order thinking, restore attention, and boost creativity. The practise has its roots in the 1980s Japan, where it is known as shinrin-yoku.
The primary principle is to soak in the forest atmosphere through your senses. And that begins with the simple act of switching off. Shutting out the daily demands of our digital life, preventing our mental resources from draining off. Instead, focus on the essence of the surroundings.
Forest and the Mind
The ancient Indian wisdom of Yoga tells us about the importance of meditation. With intense focus comes efficiency of the brain. In a forest, this focus is aided by the ambience, the sight and sound, the smell and vibes of the woodland. It helps to align the mind with the elements of nature, bringing in better focus, and the ability to think deeply. New and creative ideas flow naturally.
Studies reveal that our brains enter a meditative state when going through green spaces – demonstrating their mood enhancing and reflective properties. Our imaginative power gets enhanced, and our minds easily get access to the deep storehouse of memories, ideas, and emotions.
Health and Happiness – The Gifts of Forests
Many research on the effect of a forest atmosphere on our health has demonstrated how exposure to the greens can impact our heartbeat positively, lowering blood pressure and reducing stress. Even memory skills and cognitive functions are boosted, fostering better immunity for us.
And a healthy body gives way to a happy mind. Most of our psycho-somatic disorders get a healing opportunity in presence of the greens – from the largest of trees to the tiniest of moss.
Thus having a home inside a forest helps one to be more creative, healthier and happier, as forest bathing or the ancient Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku happens naturally. Thoughtfully created residential communities within a forest area such as Vanya Awas in Lataguri become the welcome spot for a happy tryst with Mother Nature, in all her splendour and glory.