Everyone knows that trees play an integral part in the world, but could they play a more personal role in your life? Studies say yes.
From giving creatures a place to live, children a place to play, and everyone a tool for reducing greenhouse gases, it’s clear to see that trees more than play their part in the world. Their effects are far-reaching, and with new research coming to the fore, humans are becoming less likely to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot” than they ever were before.
As scientists delve more into mental health topics, they are beginning to see a link between trees and mental health – with a hypothesis on a human’s connection to nature and its benefits. Early results show that your relationship with nature is often portrayed in environmental behaviours such as recycling, composting, and growing a garden.
What that same research also finds, however, is that more and more people are losing that connection with nature, known as nature deficit disorder. The term comes from a book called the Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, outlining mental and physical consequences of a disconnect with nature. This theory also lines up with how people with modern-day illnesses such as depression, ADHD, and anxiety can benefit from a natural environment. Several other studies covering nature and emotions also reiterate this notion – such as positive feelings when walking through nature and faster healing with natural views in hospitals.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GET BACK TO NATURE?
Knowing that a connection with nature can be beneficial for your mental and physical health means it’s crucial to do all you can to forge and maintain that link. Take the scenic route to work, plant a garden, include plants in your home and office, and create an outdoor, natural sanctuary in your yard. There is so much you can do to rebuild a link with nature – something many people have lost through technological advancements and a faster-paced lifestyle. Spend time outside, utilise natural healing practices, hug a tree, and live an intentional lifestyle.