A glance in a modern office building might give the impression that humans are an indoor species. Just a few generations ago, humans spent a majority of their life outdoors,  but these days it’s the opposite; the average American spends over 90% of their time indoors. The pace of modern life is disrupting our connection with nature, and we’re suffering as a result. Obesity rates are rising, and along with it rates of heart disease and high blood pressure. 


In an effort to tackle the problem and reconnect with nature, the practice of Shinrin Yoku (which translates to forest bathing) has arisen as a preventative health maintenance practice in Japan.

What is forest bathing?

Forest bathing is the practice of mindfully reconnecting with nature. While many of us  intuitively recognize the benefits of time spent outside, science is beginning to demonstrate those benefits in a concrete way. As a result, forest bathing has been slowly growing in popularity around the world.

What are the health benefits of forest bathing?

Studies are showing a myriad of benefits associated with time spent outdoors; people who spend more time in nature are calmer, happier, and more confident. Forest bathing in particular is associated with  increased immune system function, stress reduction,  lower blood pressure,  and lower rates of cardiovascular illness.  

lower blood pressure

One theory that is currently being tested is that when you spend time among trees, you inhale beneficial phytochemicals that significantly increase  Natural Killers, T-cells in our body that fight disease and infection. Forest breathing is a literal breath of fresh air for your body!

Forest bathing is also associated with reduced stress, for good reason. Time spent forest bathing decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) and also decreases urinary adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone). When it comes to time sent in the forest, even an occasional trip can have lasting benefits.  One study found that the reduction in urinary adrenaline lasted for 30 days after time spent in the forest.

Nourish to Flourish Retreat www.stacieoverman.com

How to practice forest bathing?

The key to reaping the benefits of forest bathing is to take it slow.  Generally, forest bathing sessions last at least two hours, so no rushing is involved. Think of forest bathing as a sort of walking meditation. The goal is to mindfully connect with nature, as though you were seeing the forest for the first time. Take the time to connect with your senses. What does the forest smell like? Touch the trees around you. What does the bark feel like? What colors do you see? What sounds do you hear? The goal is not to get your heart rate up, but to renew your connection with Mother Nature’s pace rather than the artificially inflated pace of modern life. Slow down and enjoy the experience!

Spirits of the forest

Where to go forest bathing?

Stacie hosts an annual retreat for those interested in learning more about forest bathing in a guided setting.  This year’s retreat takes place in the breathtaking Smokey Mountains of Tennessee from June 17th-20th. Stacie will offer guided lessons in forest bathing and forest therapy, as well as lessons on connecting with the trees’ spirits! Spots are limited, register now! CLICK HERE

Angel Blessings,

Spiritual Guide Stacie Overman
Anxiety Relief Five East Techniques eBook

Download your
Anxiety Relief Ebook

Sign up and receive the latest news and updates from Stacie

Check your inbox to receive your free ebook