back to nature

Can Hugging a Tree really Change Your Life? Leave a comment

We know in relationships that spending time together is key to feeling happier. But have we stopped to think about our relationship with nature? Turns out hugging trees and really connecting with nature is just as important for you.

So it’s time to unstick ourselves from laptops and phone screens and try connecting with nature instead. Benefits of being outdoors include: a more positive outlook, better memory, concentration, and perspective. Spending just a short amount of time in nature will actually make you happier and healthier at work and home.

Better Memory

Are you always standing at the top of the stairs wondering what you went up there for? Take a hike. No really. A study from The University of Michigan found short-term memory improved by 20 percent following a stroll in nature. That’s compared to zero improvements for urban walkers.

Hiking with Friends
Image courtesy Matt Heaton

Feelings Of Awe

It’s undeniable that standing atop a mountain is more inspiring than looking at an office wall. But our experience of natural beauty isn’t limited to just that. In fact, feelings of awe can create an expanded sense of time and more generous thinking too. It’s all connected, having our problems cast into some perspective by magnificent nature makes us feel more able to help others. That, in turn, helps our relationships.

Lower Stress

People who live in rural areas actually experience significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, compared to urbanites. Reduced stress lowers your risk of heart disease and other health problems too. Big bonus.

Relieving stress through nature is so highly thought of in Japan that forest bathing and trails are now official stress-management exercises. The effects of these outings have been well-documented not only to reduce stress but also anger, anxiety, depression and boost the immune system too.

daughter and father on dock
Image courtesy Caleb Jones

Good For The Whole Family

Kids are not getting a big enough dose of nature says author, Richard Louv, who even coined the term ‘Nature-Deficit Disorder’. It may be even more important to make sure young girls are getting outside, as Laura Perlongo and Nev Schulman note in their latest parenting video. We are 16% less likely to take girls outside compared to boys. This is not good, they say, as nature is vital to improve girls confidence, including general health, problem-solving and leadership skills.

So what are you waiting for? Off you go!

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