Have you ever been grumpy, had a quarrel, or just felt a little stressed? How often have we told ourselves to go outside and get some fresh air?
For many, spending time outside is a regular part of everyday life, taking a break to work on an allotment, walking the dog or having a quick jog around the park. Everyone handles their physical and emotional stresses differently, but we all need a small pause from life to declutter our head. Having the fortune of living near green spaces has proven to elevate our mental health in a positive way.
Studies have shown that green infrastructure has numerous benefits, including reducing the Heat Island Effect caused by large areas of hard surfacing, pollution, and seasonal changes. Greener and rural areas of the country have shown to be up to 7°C cooler than our more urban areas.
Tree planting can contribute many qualities, including shading us from the sun during the height of summer, providing focal points for social gatherings, as well as improving air quality and helping to attenuate rainfall. Additional studies have shown that tree coverage also reduces and aids our mental health, such as stress and depression, as well as our physical health by lowering blood pressure. Trees also provide a valuable habitat for wildlife, such as insects and birds, with changes in the season displaying a plethora of colour and smells to enhance our senses. All together they are providing a comprehensively higher quality environment to live in.
So, next time you feel a little under the weather or have a touch of cabin fever, take a moment to enjoy the green spaces and breathe in the fresh air.