Trees are one of nature’s many wonders. They’re beautiful to look at and can house animals and produce fruits that we enjoy; they also provide us with shade when we need it on those hot and hazy summer days. As if that weren’t enough, new research from the University of Exeter has concluded that being around trees makes us happier, functioning as a natural antidepressants.
How Do Tree’s Make Us Happier?
Wealthier Areas Have More Trees
What’s even more interesting is the difference in tree coverage depending on the socioeconomic status of a given area. This was found by Tim de Chant at Per Square Mile who used Google Earth to examine various areas:
They found that for every 1 percent increase in per capita income, demand for forest cover increased by 1.76 percent. But when income dropped by the same amount, demand decreased by 1.26 percent. That’s a pretty tight correlation. The researchers reason that wealthier cities can afford more trees, both on private and public property. The well-to-do can afford larger lots, which in turn can support more trees.
We do know, given all the research, that people who live near areas densely populated by trees tend to live healthier, richer and happier lives, but is this because of the trees entirely? Perhaps not, but again with so many correlations pointing to the case, a simple and research degrading argument like “correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation” doesn’t suffice. We have something pretty interesting here that could really contribute to quality of life – with no negative repercussions.
What Can We Take From This?
1. Bring plants into your office space or where you work.
2. When going for walks, choose paths where you will be walking through parks or nature with trees.
3. Bring your friends and family to treed areas more often when you go outside or play with the kids.
4. Plant a garden and be amongst nature. You connect with your food and with the earth.
5. Plant a tree in your own yard, or even in an area you feel could use a tree!
6. Make time to go be amongst trees daily or every other day. Don’t be afraid to jump right in and hug the tree!