Let’s get something straight: Forest bathing is not a simple walk in the woods. Because let’s be honest, most of us when going for a stroll through the forest bring our phones along so we can document the whole thing, and maybe send some “look how I’m communing with nature” selfies to our friends.
Forest bathing, on the other hand, means truly stopping to appreciate the world around you. It starts with leaving your phone at home, and continues with mindful breathing, touching the earth, and clearing your mind of all the clutter of your life. The Japanese tradition of Shinrin-Yoku has been proven to reduce stress, improve health, and generally make your life better — so much so that the Japanese government has recognized it as a legitimate form of therapy since the 1980s. It’s now catching on in America, and if you’re interested in trying it, here are eight spots around the country perfect for forest bathing.