1. Start small: Go to a forest or woodland you are familiar with. This is not the time to have to worry about getting lost - the more familiar the better, if you are not guided. This is one of the many perks of going on a guided forest bathing/therapy walk, because you do not have to navigate. If you are not familiar with a woodland, find a greenspace in which you feel comfortable in. It does not need to be big - a few trees here and there will do.

Forest Bathing Manual

Forest Bathing Manual

2. Remember that there is no right or wrong way - though scientists try, they have not been able to come up with a recipe that fits all. My guess is that they never will because the Earth is very intelligent and we humans, though fundamentally the same, react differently to nature. However, what I do know is that you should do what you feel comfortable in doing: stay as long as it feels good to you (research says that even 20 minutes will have an effect, but the key is to listen to yourself); walk or sit or alternate between the two. Just remember to tune into your surrounds.

3. If you are used to walking fast, try walking slow. It might feel forced in the beginning, but you would be surprised how fast you get used to it. After a while, you will find it comes automatically. This is especially important in small woodlands - otherwise you´ll be out of there faster than you have had the time to enjoy the forest´s wellbeing effects.

4. Experience, don't judge. Find a way to engage all of your senses:

Gaze at a tree from the root to the top of the crown to get a feeling of its size. Do not name things, try to just experience it (how big its shade is, high small you feel next to it etc.)

Listen to your surroundings. If there is a lot of ambient noise (cars, industry, people) try to listen closer to you: are there any birds or insects, can you feel the wind? Alternatively, can you hear beyond the ambient noises? Again, do not judge by naming anything - simply take it in.

Smell. Smell anything - the wind, the tree bark, a flower blooming close by, how about scratching the clean soil and then smelling your fingers. Do you smell the earthy smell?

Touch. Feel your feet on the ground, the sun on your cheeks or the grass under your hands. Take off your shoes, if you are feeling daring.

5. Share how you felt - write a poem, describe it in your journal, tell a friend, or share it on a social media post. Sharing your special moment with likeminded individuals reinforces it for you. Who knows, you might inspire others to try it out as well.

Haynes Publishing’s Forest Bathing Manual by Sarah Devos and Katriina Kilpi is priced at £12.99 and is available from www.haynes.com. IFTDays 2020, an online event where forest based health & wellbeing practioners, scientists and forest friends, gather to exchange, learn and inspire each other, will be held online on 26th – 27th of September.