Over half the world’s population already lives in cities – and that’s only growing. Any tips for city dwellers?
Absolutely! Basically, at the basis of forest bathing, it’s about a connection to nature. It’s to establish a relationship with the more than human world. Humans have a tendency and a natural desire to surround themselves by living things, by life. When you live in a city, you’re surrounded by dead things. If you can’t leave the city, you can use parks, gardens, community gardens – any natural space in the city can be used to do micro moments of nature connection. You don’t have to be in a forest, a botanical garden – there is green, there is grass, there is space for animals, and you can become mindful, you can do very deliberate sensory exercises to open those sensory doors. Humans establish a relationship with their environment with their senses. During a lunch break, take your lunch, don’t eat it in front of your computer – go out, sit on a bench, take off your shoes, touch the earth with both feet.
This is called earthing and grounding and is proven to actually be medically healthy – when you connect your body to the surface of the earth. Through the absorption of electrodes, you can do breathing exercises outside, you can use any number of mindful exercises. Close your eyes, soak in all the sounds around you: birds, the wind in the trees, all those things have a very calming effect on the system, on our organism, on the body. They also have the effect of fostering a relationship. You feel connected to the life around you.