Today’s hectic world is focused on seeking and grabbing the opportunity as soon as you get a chance, and to do so, you have to be at several places at a time. You have to stay active and be prepared for the emergencies 24/7. Of course, such a busy schedule can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, and sometimes even get you depressed.
So, how can you reduce your stress? There are a lot of things that you can consider which may help you to lower your stress. For example, anything from doing yoga or going to the gym, and to visiting the therapists for help or even taking the medication.
However, some recent studies have revealed a surprisingly simple way to reduce stress – by looking at trees. According to a research paper of the scientists from the University of Illinois and the University of Hong Kong, only watching footage of trees could significantly reduce the level of stress among the study participants.
Besides, researchers from the Glasgow University have analysed natural and non-natural environments for physical activity, which included walking, running or cycling, and concluded that being around trees lowered the mental stress levels.
Various studies have been conducted all over the world ever since the 1980s. One included experiments with over a 100 participants, who agreed to undergo a stressful situation by making a speech in front of the judges or by viewing 360-degrees videos that showed cityscapes.
Then the participants filled in three questionnaires to measure their level of stress. One was filled in before the tests, one right after the stressful situation, and the last one after a short cool down period at the end of the experiment.
By collecting this data, the researchers were able to analyse the results and developed a dose-response curve, which described the relationship between the number of trees and the level of stress. Thus, they came to the conclusion that the higher the tree-density was, the lower the stress levels went.
Another study in Britain has shown that the patients who were recovering from similar abdominal surgery and had a view of trees and green space from their hospital window, recovered more quickly and were discharged three-quarters of the day sooner than the patients, who had a brick wall outside of their windows. Moreover, the patients who had the green view from their windows required a lower dose of analgesic medication.
Oddly enough, one study found that people who work with trees and nature in general including arborists, farmers and gardeners have a better quality of life and live several years longer than those that work in industrial environments such as builders.
Whilst not really surprising, these studies show that trees and nature, in general, have a positive effect on the human psyche as well as our physical well-being. Being in the forest, exercising or walking, significantly lowers aggression, reduces stress and boosts immunity so bear this in mind next time you have time for a walk.