Bathe your child in the forest

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In the 1980s the Japanese government carried out extensive scientific research which found that a two-hour forest-bathing session could reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol levels and improve concentration and memory. Their findings went beyond the usual correlations between fresh air, exercise and wellbeing. They found that the chemicals released by trees, known as phytoncides, could have an anti-microbial effect on our bodies, boosting the immune system. As a result of this research, forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, was introduced as a national health programme.

The most amazing thing about forest bathing to me is that the effect that the green space has on your nervous system directly reverses the effect of blue light from screens. So as screens exhilarate and excite your nervous system, green spaces calm your nervous system down.

When I found this out I decided I was going to take my kids to the forest or some kind of green space as often as I could, I wanted them to grow up with an overriding sense of calm, in the midst of a world that often seems to be lacking it!

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