5 Ways Trees Can Enhance Wellness

The little-known tree facts that cast new light on these beautiful perennial plants.

Sunlight through a tree

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Trees are beautiful. No matter the season, no matter the color of their leaves, trees are always there, tall and regal, growing and alive. We all know how important they are for the environment, for the production of oxygen and for cleaning out our air. These amazing perennial plants give us so many more benefits than what meets the eye (and lungs)!

Trees boost our cognitive abilities

Trees are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem, and they get recognition for that. What they don’t typically get recognition for are the positive benefits they offer to the functioning of our brains. 

A recent study published in Nature Sustainability, suggests that children's cognitive development is boosted by access to woodlands.

Next time you have an exam to study for, or need to concentrate on some paperwork, consider leaving your desk and heading to a tree-filled park instead!

Double exposure portrait to illustrate trees boosting thought

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Trees promote physical activity

Did you know that people walk and jog more in shady areas? According to canopy.org, an organization that plants and cares for trees, this is one of the many benefits we get from trees. Jogging on the beach, while watching the soft waves almost but not quite reaching our sneakers is lovely, but not all of us live by the ocean. So, for city dwellers, parks and tree-filled streets are the way to go.

People walking on pathway surrounded by trees

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Trees offer hours of creative fun for kids!

How many childhood games can be played with trees? Lots of them! Hide-and-seek, treehouses, swings, and even simply climbing them (safely and with adult supervision, of course). 

Trees promote creativity and when we are being creative the fun never ends! And, even dead trees can provide kids with hours of fun. Dead trees, National Geographic  points out, are filled with life: birds, bugs, salamanders and lots of other play-friendly creatures. 

Happy children examining tree stem

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Trees allow us to connect to nature

There are lots of types of connections. We can connect to other people, to ourselves and also to nature. And when we connect to nature, we boost our wellbeing, our health and even our relationships. 

Research indicates many positive aspects to nature, according to Greater Good Magazine, a digital magazine that turns science into stories. It shares that studies have shown that being in nature, living in or near nature, or even just looking at nature in paintings and videos can give real positive benefits to our brains and to our health as a whole. Immersion in nature even helps our mental and social well-being. So although you may not have access to large areas of nature on a regular basis, looking at trees is beneficial too. Even if just in a picture!

A happy little girl hugging a tree trunk

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Trees help decrease our stress levels

Maybe it’s the green leaves, since green has a calming effect on us. Or maybe it’s the fact that trees can be so vibrant and full of life. Trees have a therapeutic and rejuvenating effect on people. Mymodernmet reports on how trees are instrumental to physical as well as mental health. 

Many of today's pharmaceuticals, including Aspirin, are derived from trees, says Psychologies Magazine.  They further explain that, according to the director of the Center For Health Systems And Design at Texas A&M University, Roger Ulrich,  simply being in a green space can cause reduced levels of stress and low pressure within minutes. They also claim that people who live around trees feel emotionally and physically healthier than people who live in areas without trees.

Just looking out the window and seeing some trees swaying in the gentle breeze may be all that’s needed to confirm this!

Young woman meditating near trees

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