Tree hugging may have gained popularity as a silly practice in the 1960s, but it has now officially been validated by science to be incredibly beneficial for both people and the planet. Contrary to popular belief, hugging a tree or simply being around trees/nature can boost a person’s health in multiple ways.
In his book “Blinded by Science,” author Matthew Silverstone discusses this link between contact with trees and alleviation of a number of health problems including depression, poor concentration and even headaches. Silverstone’s research also highlights the link between green space and community health and wellness concluding that “access to nature can significantly contribute to our mental and capital wellbeing”.
Additional academic studies have shown that in an increasingly crowded and busy world which induces daily stress, having contact with trees can lessen stress, anxiety and even depression in a person. Correlation has also been found between contact with the natural world and mood enhancement as well as bettering of depression symptoms.
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE
Strengthening your connection with trees and nature can take many forms and is easier than you think. There are multiple small changes that you can make to increase the time you spend with the natural world. These changes can include things like:
- Bring plants into your office space or where you work.
- When going for walks, choose paths where you will be walking through parks or nature with trees.
- Bring your friends and family to treed areas more often when you go outside or play with the kids.
- Plant a garden and be among nature. You connect with your food and the earth.
- Plant a tree in your own yard or even in an area you feel could use a tree.
- Make time to go be around trees daily or every other day. And if so inclined - don’t be afraid to jump right in and hug the tree
In short, “tree hugging” can take many forms and often only requires small changes in your current lifestyle. However, these small changes can bring big benefits in the form of stress relief, improved physical health and emotional well-being.
Still think we are crazy? Check out this fun video of explaining further the science behind hugging trees and your well-being.