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Coming back to our senses: Exploring the potential of guided forest bathing as an intervention for human-nature connection
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2021 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Fostering human-nature connection (HNC) relates to the inner worlds of humans as a realm of influence for sustainability and is considered a deep leverage point for system transformation. Both direct nature experiences and states of mindfulness are significant for influencing the development of HNC. Therefore, in this thesis, I explore the potential of guided forest bathing – an originally Japanese practice of mindfully immersing one’s senses in the atmosphere of a forest – as an intervention for HNC. I do so by applying a mixed-methods approach and a relational, multidimensional assessment of the qualities and effects of a guided forest bathing session, as conducted in the methodology of the Scandinavian Nature and Forest Therapy Institute. While not able to establish causality, the study results suggest that participation in just one guided forest bathing session may positively influence the development of HNC, primarily in participants new to the experience. The results also suggest that several qualities of guided forest bating are important for influencing HNC, including mindfulness, engagement of senses, and self-restoration. These qualities and others related to the specific structure and social setting of the experience can provoke thoughts that meaningfully shift how individuals perceive and interact with nature. This leads the thesis to conclude that guided forest bathing represents a novel nature experience with promising potential as an intervention for HNC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021.
Keywords [en]
human nature connection, guided forest bathing, mindfulness in nature, mixed methods, ACHUNAS, assessment, sustainability interventions, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199982OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-199982DiVA, id: diva2:1622047
External cooperation
Scandinavian Nature and Forest Therapy Institute
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2021-12-21 Created: 2021-12-21 Last updated: 2021-12-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf