The Tree Treatment for Stress and Anxiety
Ever felt so overwhelmed you wanted to escape? You know, that gnawing anxiety in your chest, as a whirlwind of obligations wreak havoc in your head.
Stress is a modern epidemic. You may think that civilization has made us soft, or that our stressors are nothing compared to our ancestors. It’s true. Most of us don’t have to hunt for our next meal, or survive the winter without indoor heating, but did you know that we’re exposed to more stimuli in one day than a 15th-century citizen would experience in an entire lifetime?
How do we deal with that stress? More stimuli. We compulsively check emails, scroll mindlessly through social media, or binge-watch Netflix. After we indulge in these short-term distractions, we still have the same problems as before, but we’re even less capable of dealing with them. There’s a better way of conquering anxiety, and it’s even easier than thumbing through your phone: walking in nature.
Walking in nature is a timeless treatment for everyday anxiety, touted by the likes of Einstein and Winston Churchill. Studies show that the sight of nature has an instant relaxing effect– and it only takes one tree to see an improvement!
From school to family to friends to work, we’re being pulled in every direction by our obligations. In this frenetic state, we neglect our own emotional and mental health. Over time, it all builds up without us realizing it, causing even more anxiety down the road.
By carving out a little time each day to relax in a natural, distraction-free environment, we can avoid feeling like we’re constantly rushing. We’ll still have our busy lives, but they’ll be more manageable. Rather than impulsively reacting to situations, nature can help us feel more capable of handling our responsibilities. Nature provides us with tools to combat stress and maintain a healthy mind. It’s easy to get swept away by circumstances, but trees can teach us how to stay rooted.