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Trees and Mental Health

Author:

Nadine de Chenu

Published:

May 14, 2020

We all know that getting outdoors and breathing in some “fresh air” is good for us; the feeling of blowing away the cobwebs and the warmth of the sun on your face improves even the darkest of moments. During exercise your body releases endorphins which provide a vital role in improving mental health and help you sleep better. Despite our current time of social isolation with us advised to stay in our homes as much as possible, our government recognises the importance of exercise in the outdoors and still advises us to do so – even if in a more measured format than usual.

Have you ever considered that where you exercise can have an impact on the benefits you receive? Scientists have found, time and time again that trees play a vital role in turning your average daily walk into one which leaves you feeling better, both mentally and physically. Walks through green space have been shown to improve mental alertness and boost memory recall whilst reducing feelings of anxiety and lowering blood pressure. The additional opportunities that tree covered spaces provide, such as increasing the likelihood of socialising (obviously frowned upon right now!), spotting wildlife, birdwatching or walking dogs are all positive activities for our mental health.

There are many other reports of trees supporting the health of humans. Studies at various hospitals across the globe have reported that patients with a view of trees and greenery recover faster and require less pain relief than those whose view is limited to man made structures. Tree and woods can also help to bring people together and strengthen communities, reducing loneliness and isolation – both huge factors in the demise of positive mental health.

Whilst many of you won’t be lucky enough to have a woodland right on your doorstep (something we’re striving to change), you will undoubtedly walk, run or cycle past many trees on your currently limited daily wanderings. As you do, take a moment to appreciate their wonder and fully benefit from their positive powers.  

If you’d like more information on how best to include trees in your landscape, please contact us on ndc@treeandwoodland.co.uk