Can you ever remember getting into a bad mood when you were walking in the woods? Well, increasingly researchers are finding that taking a walk in the woods, or even looking out a window at trees, significantly improves our mood. I bet you already knew that at some level – and now there is hard, scientific evidence to support your gut feeling. Doesn’t that feel good?
In the Dec, 2019 issue of The Journal of Positive Psychology researchers reported that even five minutes in nature enhanced participants’ mood and sense of well-being.
In the Winter, 2019 issue of Audubon, several well-respected psychologists report that “contact with nature benefits our mood, our psychological well-being, our mental health, and our cognitive functioning.”
Another big benefit: Researchers have found that children diagnosed with ADHD have milder symptoms when they regularly play in green play settings. Add to that all the ecological and economic benefits we know that an urban forest can provide, and it is a no-brainer: We need more trees in Asheville, and we need to have this urban forest managed so that we can all derive the ecological, economic and psychological benefits that research tells us is available from urban forests.
By implementing the Comprehensive Urban Forest Master Plan, Asheville’s City Council could make all these benefits available to ALL Asheville residents at no additional cost.
So get out there and hug a tree. You will feel better!
Cathy Walsh, Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society
Chair, External Relations and Advocacy, Tree Protection Task Force