The minute someone says "planting trees", all people think about is sustainability and a reduction in global warming. Trees and nature have so much more to offer! Let's explore some of the emotional and psychological benefits of planting trees and being around nature.
1. Trees improve focus and productivity
Research conducted by the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois shows that planting trees around institutions such as schools can improve concentration and reduce mental fatigue. All else kept constant, a school with more trees around it has seen an improvement in standardized test scores, graduation rates and lower crime rates. In the workplace, plants and trees surrounding the building has a direct positive correlation with employee morale and efficiency.
2. Trees can heal
The effects of trees can go all the way to our bodies and don't stop at the brain. Studies have shown that patients who had a view of trees from their hospital rooms recovered faster, required less pain medication and had fewer complications in their road to recovery. Spending more time around trees is seen to reduce blood pressure and improve people's immune system.
3. Trees can affect mental health
Trees can help neurodivergent children with ADHD and Autism show lesser symptoms and reduces mental stress. In one recent study, 585 young adult Japanese participants reported on their moods after walking for 15 minutes, either in an urban setting or in a forest. The forests and urban centres were in 52 different locations around the country, and about a dozen participants walked in each area. In all cases, the participants walking in a forest experienced less anxiety, hostility, fatigue, confusion, and depressive symptoms, and more vigour, compared to walking in an urban setting. The results were even stronger for people who were more anxious, to begin with. People living in proximity to trees had better “amygdala integrity”—meaning, a brain structure better able to handle stressors.
From all the points above, one thing is for certain - there are more benefits to planting trees and being around nature than just climate control or economic benefits. That is why our project, Operation Green is so important because we want to plant trees in order to provide these benefits to the larger population.
Please check out our website to see how you can help. Every little action counts and snowballs into real change and impact that can make the world a better place.