How Forests and Woodlands Benefit Our Mental Health

A study conducted by mental health charity Mind found that approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue in any given year. People can struggle with their mental health for many reasons, but it’s just as important to look after our psychological well being alongside our physical health.

A number of studies have contributed towards a growing body of evidence that shows the many benefits of spending time in woodlands. As well as the economic and environmental benefits of woodland spaces, these studies show that this type of environment has many benefits for our mental health.

The current climate of Covid-19 has also given many people a newfound appreciation for nature and outdoor spaces, and it’s more important than ever to look after our health during this stressful time. With this in mind, read on to find out more about how forests and woodlands are good for our mental wellbeing.

The social aspect

Woodlands can offer a valuable space for social activity, whether that’s a walk with family and friends, or an outdoor concert or play. The rise in programmes such as forest schools also offer a valuable way for people to connect and woodlands have been used as a venue for team building exercises or offender rehabilitation programmes.

There’s also evidence to show that woodland can bring communities together, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Reduces stress

Simply viewing or being around trees has been shown to reduce physical symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension and pulse rate. This is particularly effective for people living in urban environments, so it’s important to ensure that those living in cities have access to green spaces.

Helps with depression and anxiety

Research conducted by Leeds Beckett University found that ‘nature prescriptions’ drastically improve mental health. The study found that for every £1 invested in projects that connect people to nature, there is a £6.88 social return, saving money in the long run. Participants found that symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression were significantly reduced after spending time in nature and there’s also evidence to suggest that woodlands are highly beneficial to those with PTSD.

As you can see, woodlands are vital for our mental health and the creation of new woodland also brings many further economic and environmental benefits. If you’re looking for a professional woodland creation company to create the perfect solution for you, get in touch with the team at Woodland Creation Scotland. We’ve got everything you need to create a bespoke woodland that’s tailored to you, so give us a call today or visit our website to find out more.

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