Trees Enrich My Life
“I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep… Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long…” —Poet and novelist May Sarton
Mary Sarton’s verse really touches me! As I move through each day, I try to let go of grief and anger I’m holding. I look at what brings me joy and positions me for a fulfilling day. The sight of trees make me smile and feel joy.
Trees speak to me. Their vibrational energy is strong. All I must do is learn to really listen!
I get up every morning before sunrise. I turn the outside lights on as I express my gratitude for another day and see the trees in my yard. I’m never sure what images or interactions will come to mind. Always positive they wrap around me, and I feel the essence of the “lungs of the earth.”
I focus my attention on the trees and begin to breathe. The wonder of this discovery never escapes me. I, like many people, never thought about my breathing until my breathing was labored. I felt weak and frail. Truly frightening!
I learned that I have Bronchiectasis, a condition in which airways of my lungs were permanently damaged. I never knew because I was asymptomatic. Unbeknownst to me I was exposed to toxic black mold and that activated my Bronchiectasis. Interestingly the type I have is a tree bud pattern. Coincidence? I think not.
“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take util we perish.” – Munia Khan
There are numerous studies that confirm that trees can improve our physical and mental health and that living near trees is our best medicine.
- The USDA Forest Services confirmed that trees and forests effect our air quality, and that poor air quality could be significantly reduced.
- A patient with a view of a tree needed less painkillers after surgery and took less time to recover than patients who faced a brick wall.
- People living near trees suffer from less anxiety, stress and depression than people who live in areas with a tree canopy of less than 10%.
- Research shows that we feel less stressed and more restored from being around trees. Much of the research was conducted in forests.
- Data from 250,000 Americans found that people who lived near green areas with trees were sleeping better, especially those 65 and older.
- Many studies involving trees show that nature experiences lead us to feel kinder toward others.
- Scientific reports showed that people living in close proximity to trees had better amygdala integrity, which means they are able to handle stressors better. What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working.
- Studies have shown that spending short amounts of time in forests seems to benefit our immune systems. In one study elderly patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experienced better immune function after they visited forests instead of urban areas. One hypothesis as to why suggests that trees may improve immunity thanks to certain aromatic compounds they release.
- Trees also seem to help our heart health. In one study, participants walked in a forest one day and an urban environment another day, Researchers measured how the two walks impacted their bodies. Those people who walked in trees had lower blood pressure, cortisol levels, pulse rates, and sympathetic nervous system activity (related to stress), while increasing their parasympathetic nervous system activity (related to relaxation).
I was overwhelmed by the amount of research, blogs and books about trees. In part this post took so long because I kept find interesting material that I wanted to read before I started to write.
Do you have any stories you would like to share about trees and how they impact you?
As always, we’d love to hear them.
Please stay safe, Deborah