What is Forest Bathing? | Cherokee, NC

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What is Forest Bathing?

Vacations are meant to be exciting and adventurous, but most importantly? They’re supposed to be relaxing. On vacation – whether you’re far away or the next town over, you’re supposed to take time to reduce the stressors of everyday life, spending time with family, friends, and even yourself.

When you come to Cherokee, NC, this is what we have planned for you! Our amazing, vast selection of relaxing and adventurous activities are what make us one of the best places in the U.S. to visit. In this blog, we’re going to be teaching you about one of our favorite ways to destress – forest bathing.

While it’s not a common practice, we believe it should be and that’s why today, we’re encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and get to know an ancient practice that will help you destress, unwind, and experience nature like never before!

What is Forest Bathing?

Let’s start with breaking down exactly what forest bathing is.

Forest bathing was introduced in 1982 by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries as a practice designed to help people “absorb the forest atmosphere” as translated by the original term, shinrin-yoku.

While there is no actual bathing required for this practice, it does encourage you to metaphorically wash yourself clean of modern-day technology and take in all the forest has to offer – the sounds, the smells, the wind.

The overall goal is to let go of any stress or anxiety that is currently bothering you and be present in the natural setting of the forest, one of the world’s most relaxing places on earth.

The Benefits of Forest Bathing

Forest bathing shares a lot of similar benefits to meditation and yoga, relaxing the mind, focusing the thoughts on one simple idea – or nothing at all.

When you relax, your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) lowers and your heart rate reduces, helping to alleviate anxiety, panic, and long-term stress on the heart.

According to a Scientific Reports study, spending at least 10 to 20 minutes a day (120 minutes per week) can help reduce stress and improve overall health.

How to Forest Bathe

Now, the question on everyone’s mind – how do you practice forest bathing? Well, it’s actually very simple.

You can forest bathe while on a hike or a casual walk. Technically, you don’t even need to be in an actual forest, however, we always encourage getting out to explore the best parts of nature, which, in our opinion, can always be found in a forest.

First, you find a spot that’s right for you whether that be sat on a tree stump, laying on the ground, overlooking a hill, or next to a river.

Take your time and breathe in the atmosphere; look at the surroundings, listen to the sounds, and let your mind wander.

If you find that you can’t relax the first time, don’t worry. This practice is meant to be done regularly and will take time to master.

Tips for Forest Bathing Beginners

While forest bathing isn’t necessarily difficult and can be done by everyone, we do have a few helpful tips for beginners looking to start!

  • Bring protective eye wear to reduce harsh sun rays
  • Bring allergy medication if you’re sensitive to pollen
  • Let your friends and family know where you are if you’re going alone
  • Bring relaxing music if you find that the forest alone isn’t helping you

Visit the Cherokee, NC Campgrounds for Your Next Vacation!

Ready to explore nature at its finest – with a metaphorical bathe in the serene forests of Cherokee? Then it’s time to plan your next trip to Cherokee, North Carolina where you can rest, relax, and enjoy the scenery of our ancient forests.  

Bring the family and friends and explore the best Smoky Mountain campgrounds near Cherokee today!

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