A Japanese Wellness Technique Could Be the CEO's Secret to Health and Productivity You don't have to drop off the radar to be surrounded by nature, as well as reap the productivity benefits.
- Exposure to nature has been proven to reduce both stress hormones and blood pressure, as well as fuel white blood cell activity and creativity overall.
- There are ways of conjuring an outdoor experience even when you are stuck in the office.
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In Walden, Henry David Thoreau observed that "We can never have enough of nature," and one of the things I love about working at Jotform's San Francisco headquarters is how accessible nature is. I can take a quick bike ride to a handful of beaches, as well as a pier crowded with sea lions. If I feel like hiking, tall peaks beckon in just about every direction. If I drive about a half-hour north, I can reach Muir Woods National Park, which is more than 550 acres of dense forest. That last spot, in particular, is perfect for what's termed "forest bathing," which, along with morning sweat sessions and power napping, helps me play a longer, happier, more productive and healthier game as an entrepreneur.
First term-conceptualized in Japan in the 1980s, forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) was the product of a government campaign to encourage people to find respite from then-rampant tech-boom burnout by taking advantage of the country's extensive protected forests. The idea was, and is, to immerse oneself in the woods and absorb its surroundings using all five senses — to see the trees and take in their colossal magnitude, as well as smell the leaves, listen to the natural sounds, feel the fresh air and taste foraged goods (with an appropriate eye on safety).