children · environment · happiness · hugs · Nature · neuroscience · psychology

Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated – Uplift

hugging trees can be good for us

The term “tree hugger” has been applied to people viewed as uber-liberal or too idealistic, however… “it has been recently scientifically validated that hugging trees is actually good for you.”

Research has shown that you don’t even have to touch a tree to get better, you just need to be within its vicinity has a beneficial effect.

In a recently published book, Blinded by Science, the author Matthew Silverstone, proves scientifically that trees do in fact improve many health issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration levels, reaction times, depression and other forms of mental illness. He even points to research indicating a tree’s ability to alleviate headaches in humans seeking relief by communing with trees.

The author points to a number of studies that have shown that children show significant psychological and physiological improvement in terms of their health and well being when they interact with plants and trees. Specifically, the research indicates that children function better cognitively and emotionally in green environments and have more creative play in green areas. Also, he quotes a┬ámajor public health report that investigated the association between green spaces and mental health concluded that “access to nature can significantly contribute to our mental capital and wellbeing”.

full article via Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated – Uplift.

I”m sorry the article only looked at research in children, as more and more findings are showing the same improvements in adults from interacting and playing with nature, and even results that some would term “nature deprivation” or as Richard Louv calls it “Nature Deficit Disorder.”

One of my favorite little trivia facts is that there are microbes in soil that induce positive emotions in people, so digging in the dirt actually makes you happier. Plus helps you learn and concentrate more.

Hospital patients with a view of a tree or greenery from their room window were found to heal faster.

 

Those kinds of benefits are for everybody!

While I do feel like it’s important to make sure children get enough outdoor time, I continually want to drive home the message that not only should you encourage children to go outside and play, but adults too. We ALL need fresh air and nature and flowers and bugs and dirt.

behavior · disease · health · neuroscience · play

How exercise affects the brain: Age and genetics play a role

Supervised physical therapy may be helpful to ...
Exercise effects the brain in multiple ways. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Science Daily:

Exercise clears the mind. It gets the blood pumping and more oxygen is delivered to the brain. This is familiar territory, but Dartmouth’s David Bucci thinks there is much more going on.

“In the last several years there have been data suggesting that neurobiological changes are happening — [there are] very brain-specific mechanisms at work here,” says Bucci, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

From his studies, Bucci and his collaborators have revealed important new findings:

The effects of exercise are different on memory as well as on the brain, depending on whether the exerciser is an adolescent or an adult.

A gene has been identified which seems to mediate the degree to which exercise has a beneficial effect. This has implications for the potential use of exercise as an intervention for mental illness.

more via How exercise affects the brain: Age and genetics play a role.