AUSTIN, Texas —Studies show that spending time outdoors can help with mental and physical health.
- Study says spending time outdoors can be good for mental, physical health
- Groups are going outdoors to “forest bathe”
- Experience includes slow paced hike, meditation
That's why some are putting down their phones and stepping outside to "forest bathe."
It's not what you think, this sort of bathing doesn't involve water at all.
Melanie Choukas-Bradley spends her days as a nature and forest therapy guide. She also is an award-winning nature book author. She said connecting with the nature can provide a variety of health benefits.
"When you spend time with trees and in natural places, you have calmer thoughts and it increases your focus and creativity," Bradley said.
Bradley took a group into the woods Thursday to experience forest bathing for the first time at YMCA's Camp Moody.
It's not exactly a hike. It's a slower paced experience that includes meditation.
"Just the whole concept of it gives it a different flavor than a hike," Heather Kuhlken with Austin Families in Nature said.
It was a different experience, even though Kuhlken also spends her time getting families out and about in nature.
"This was a really nice break from the movement of taking 30 people out on a trail," she said. "I feel much better, much more peaceful and calm after having some time in nature and really being able to look around and be present"
Bradley says all you need to do is find a "wild" home, whether it's your backyard, a park, or some green space at your job.
The process entails taking the time to listen, look, smell, and touch the nature around you, then, be still, meditate, and reflect on what you are experiencing.