Forest bathing: how to bring Japanese nature craze into your home

Create a lush, urban jungle and feel the benefits of a closer connection with nature

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The concept of shinrin-yoku or ‘forest bathing’ swept across Japan in the 1980s.

It involves heading into nature to immerse yourself in the surroundings so you can fully appreciate the outside space. It was found to have a dramatic positive effect on the welfare of the citizens, so the Japanese government introduced forest bathing as a national health programme.

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Bunches of foliage in vases will perk up your décor without the hassle of plant parenting

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Spending time around plants lowers pulse rate and cortisol levels, and in turn reduces stress responses and signs of depression.

Pots of fun

Studies have shown that even looking at green walls or digital images of plants can have a therapeutic effect, making it easy to give your wellbeing a boost from the comfort of your own home.

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If you don’t have the space for plants, botanical motifs will boost the jungle feel

Relax in a soothing, mindful space with clean white walls and natural textures, or lose yourself in a deep, cosy jungle with bright colours and tropical prints – choose whatever makes you feel the most at home.

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You can also fill your house with greenery which is easy to care for: think succulents, lavender, cactus, herbs, yucca, African violets, spider plants and aloe.

Warm toned greens will create a cosy space. Tranquil Dawn, Forest Shade and Heart Wood, £29.16 for 2.5L, Dulux
Warm toned greens will create a cosy space

If any of them grow significantly, then simply place the pots in large baskets with handles so you can easily reposition them around your home.

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Expert opinion

Claire Bishop, a houseplant buyer at Dobbies Garden Centres, explained that whilst houseplants can lift our spirits and our spaces, it's the process of learning to care for them that can really make a difference to health.

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A jungle of plants will reflect noise, which prevent airy rooms from feeling echoey and cavernous

'The amazing air-purifying qualities of houseplants have an obvious effect on our wellbeing' she explains, 'but having something to care for is also proven to have many benefits for our mental health.'

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'Daily or weekly watering and then watching your plants thrive is hugely satisfying and creates a great feeling of purpose’ adds Claire.

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Moisture-loving tropical plants will thrive in a steamy bathroom
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