Well, that was harsh. But research has shown that it’s true.
I’ve talked about my frustration with my neighbor cutting down all of the trees in her backyard, and then (as if a “tree-hating virus” had attacked the street) my other neighbor cut down healthy trees too! We were all heartbroken at this senselessness, but there was little we could do to stop the insanity.
I wish I could have shared the results of the latest research with them before the chainsaws-went-to-town. We all know how environmentally important trees are – for providing oxygen and shade, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil and supporting wildlife (as both food and habitat), but the latest research has found that trees actually make people live longer and feel happier… and that doesn’t really surprise me.
According to studies: (1) treed streets have a lower rate of crime, (2) residents have happier relationships and (3) perform better in tests; (4) trees help us to psychologically rejuvenate and they even (5) impact our “physical, psychological and social well-being”; (6) residents live longer and (7) have an overall better health and (8) children behave better in a “nature setting” than in a treeless area, especially those with an attention deficit concern… all I can say is “amazing”. The research even showed that those with less access to green space (even if only a nearby park) have a shorter attention span, poor management of major life issues and poor impulse control.
I’m definitely not a supporter of money spent frivolously on silly research but I admittedly like that these studies support what I’ve suspected all along: aside from the environmental importance of our precious trees, they truly have an altering effect on our well-being.
Today, I’m asking you to… hug a tree, love a tree, feel grateful for every tree you see… and please, don’t cut the healthy ones down… because they have a greater impact on our lives than we ever realized.
*(tree hug photo: Jim Sabo)