A Forest Therapy Expert Shares How To Make Your Time In Nature Count
Breathe It In
Take a moment to ground yourself in the present, recognising that there is nowhere else you need to be and nothing else you need to do.
Find a space that feels good to you, become still and take long, deep breaths. Immediately, your body will soften and your mind will become quiet.
"Place one hand over your heart and one hand over your belly, then take a few deep breaths," says Amanda Yik, founder of Shinrin Yoku Hong Kong, where she introduces people to the art of forest therapy. She adds that connecting to your breath ultimately helps you to feel connected and "as one" with yourself, and with your surroundings.
See also: 8 Mindful Ways To Start Your Day
Tune Into Your Senses
The term "forest bathing" is self-explanatory—it's about becoming completely immersed in nature.
Tune into your senses one by one: close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you, like birds, the wind blowing through the trees, waves or a waterfall; breathe slowly and notice the earthy aromas that come through your nostrils; notice the sensations on your skin, like the sun on your face and the breeze brushing your arm.
Finally, instead of just looking, make an effort to observe what's around you, noticing details on leaves, flowers and trees you might not have noticed before.
"We all have five senses but a big part of forest bathing is tapping our sixth sense, and that's our heart sense," says Yik. "That's the feeling we feel when we see something we love, or something that inspires us."
An Attitude Of Gratitude
Don't forget your manners. Tell mother nature 'thank you'—for the warmth of the sun, the shade under the trees, the beautiful colours, the sturdy ground to walk on.
"Practising gratitude doesn't have to be about anything big," says Yik. "Oftentimes we forget about the simple things that bring us peace, like waking up on a beautiful day."
Ditch The Distractions
Before beginning your journey, Yik suggests putting your phone on airplane mode so that pings, buzzes and notifications don't take away from your time in nature.
You can still take photos, but maybe save the social media posting for later.
This article is part of Tatler’s first ever Wellness Week––a week-long programme of events and articles hosted by Tatler Hong Kong and Lululemon, designed to inspire you to take a pause and celebrate yourself. From July 19-23, Hong Kong’s leading wellness experts will take over The Upper House to host a series of events––from an energetic run club and morning meditation to fireside chats uncovering taboo topics and workshops to help you unearth the magic of manifestation. Visit the Wellness Week content collection for practical guides, inspiration and advice on a new way to be well.