Child hugging a tree with moss shaped like a heart on the tree.

How Trees Affect Your Mental Health for the Better

We already know that trees are good for the environment, but Mother Nature isn’t the only one who benefits from them. For example, trees are magnificent air filters, absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants, and releasing restorative oxygen. But their advantages extend beyond the physical. Here are some of the impressive ways in which trees can boost your mental health, too.

Control Stress

It would certainly be nice if we could avoid stress altogether, but that simply isn’t a reality in our fast-paced world. What we can control is how we respond to it. And trees may be just the tool to help.

Australian research published in 2019 shows that residents in neighborhoods with an ample tree canopy had 31% lower odds of experiencing psychological distress. Experts suspect the shade that trees provide creates both a physical and mental cooling effect.

The same study showed that other, more subtle perks may also be at play. In cities especially, trees provide sensory relief that helps to alleviate stress that comes from the hard angles and glaring surfaces of urban landscapes.

Support Cognition

The Digital Age has provided more access to more information than ever before, but that also means our minds are more cluttered. Trees can channel our individual, restorative focus, and boost cognitive health.

Harvard epidemiologist Peter James has extensively studied the effects of greenness on health outcomes. According to his research and that of others, being in nature enhances performance on cognitive tests. About James’ findings, Alex Hutchinson wrote in a column for Outside, “The way a leafy promenade or a burbling brook tugs gently at our senses seems to restore our perennially depleted capacity to focus.”

Reduce Depression

In a study of 585 Japanese participants, individuals who spent even just 15 minutes walking in a forest reported fewer depressive symptoms than those in an urban setting. The mood-boosting benefits of being outdoors are so heavily touted in Japan that they prompted a movement in 1980 known as “forest bathing,” a practice of immersing oneself in nature. But you don’t have to go outside to reap the benefits: even just looking at images of trees promotes positive emotions.

While there’s certainly no replacement for qualified mental health services for those who need them, incorporating tree imagery into your home could be a good way to lift your spirits. If you’re fortunate enough to have trees on your property, consider keeping your windows open to take a glance at them every now and then.

Keep You Energized

Though being among the trees may not have the same energizing effect as a shot of espresso, hear us out. Trees can invigorate us in a way that encourages movement and keeps up energy levels. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they also deliver physical benefits which may also prompt us to be more active, including immune-boosting effects from their antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Provide Peace & Quiet

Trees have impressive sound absorbing qualities, which can promote a calming effect of peace and quiet. This is especially important in urban settings or communities where houses are grouped close together, and traffic noise can reach a high volume. While you may not be able to eliminate the barking dogs or clarinet lessons taking place next door, planting evergreens such as arborvitae, pines, spruces, and hollies can create a noise barrier that dampens nearby sound. The resulting peace and quiet may be just what you need to unwind after a stressful day.

Here at Premier Tree Solutions, we know the important role trees play in maintaining the overall aesthetics and safety of your property. Take the burden of tree maintenance off your shoulders and explore our pruning, removal, and other tree care services by calling us at 404-252-6448 or requesting an appointment online for our professional assistance.