A study, published in Environment and Behavior, was based on self-reported questionnaires, an earlier 2016 study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, measured reduced physiological markers of stress in subjects simply looking at images of nature.
These findings suggest that viewing tree canopy in communities can significantly aid stress recovery and that every tree matters.
In an increasingly stressful world we need more trees and closeness to nature in our lives. Nature encourages social connection as well and exposure to nature has been proven to be key factor in maintaining good physical, social and mental health. The calming effects of the natural environment are particularly beneficial for easing stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression.
“The findings suggest that keeping a few snapshots of greenery around your work desk might not be a bad idea. When participants viewed the natural images in the experiment, their stress levels lowered, thanks to the activation of their parasympathetic nervous system – which controls certain rest functions,” Science Alert reports.
“High levels of parasympathetic activity have been associated with numerous benefits including more adaptive emotion regulation strategies and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease,” the researchers write.
TreeUtah is dedicated to keeping our communities filled with trees to promote healthy minds and living. We encourage everyone to look for ways to support more urban tree growth and to take time each day to connect with nature, especially when stress enters our lives.