Tree therapy: what we can learn from the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku

Forest bathing has become a national pastime in Japan. It can reduce stress and even heal our bodies – maybe it’s time us Brits tried it as well

Chained to our desk, a computer monitor in front of our face, smartphone accompanying us wherever we go, the stresses of everyday urban life can sometimes seem insurmountable. With more than 7m years of human evolution, we have spent less than 0.1% of that time living in cities – and we have yet to fully adapt. Our bodies are built to live among nature.

And that’s where our old friends the trees can help. Most of us feel a soothing effect from spending time in a forest, or even the local park, surrounded by greenery. Research from Japan shows that there is actually a reason for this – spending time surrounded by nature actually does help to heal our bodies and minds.

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