Shinrin-yoku is a wellness and mindfulness technique that was developed in Japan in the 1980s. It means “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”.  It originally emerged as an antidote to tech-boom burnout and to help people reconnect with and protect nature in Japan. Since the 1990’s, a body of scientific research has created a forest bathing efficacy evidence-base, and the results are impressive. Regular forest bathing has been found to relieve symptoms of depression. Shinrin-yoku can also improve cardiovascular function, increase immunity and decrease inflammatory markers. It has also been found to enhance people’s adaptive behaviours, their emotional state, attitude, as well as their physical and psychological recovery from grief and trauma. When practised regularly, it can also significantly reduce anxiety. So reader, with forest covering nearly 74% of the Finnish landmass, what are you waiting for?

How to practise Shinrin-yoku:

  1. Take yourself to a forest or park with trees and grass.
  2. Find a quiet place to stand, walk, sit or lie on the forest floor (with a blanket or sit mat underneath you if you like)
  3. Slowly direct your attention to what you can hear, then what you can see, then what you smell and then what you can feel with your body. Draw your attention away from your thoughts. Do this for about 5-10 minutes, and repeat if you like. It’s that easy! To start gaining the health and wellbeing benefits described above, you should forest bathe for 10 minutes about 4-5 times a week. 


  • Fitzgerald, S (2019). The Secret To Mindful Travel. A Walk in the Woods? National Geographic.
  • Richard Doran-Sherlock , Simon Devitt , Payal Sood  (2023). An integrative review of the evidence for Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) in the management of depression and its potential clinical application in evidence-based osteopathy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
  • Ye Wen, QI Yan,YangluPan,Xinren Gu & Yuanqiu Liu (2019). Medical empirical research on forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku): a systematic review. National Library of Medicine. PubMed.