Why You Need To Hug a TreePublished on
Cuddle a chestnut, squeeze a sycamore – by embracing nature (literally) you can boost your family’s wellbeing and help protect UK woodland.
Snuggling up not only feels wonderful, a great big bear hug releases the love hormone oxytocin, elevating mood and lowering stress levels.
But while social distancing means we have to keep friends at arm’s length right now, the good news is you can safely cosy up with a tree to help you feel more connected and generally enhance your health and happiness.
A study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that exposure to nature, for just two hours per week, can lead to better health and psychological wellbeing. It can also promote increased feelings of self-esteem in children.
While spending time in any green space is beneficial, there’s something extra special about being amongst trees.
In Japan and beyond, shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing – which involves slowly walking through woodland and drinking in the atmosphere – is becoming increasingly popular to soothe the body and soul.
But you don’t have to be in a forest. Stick your shoes on, head out into the great outdoors and find a tree - any tree. It could be the tree in your garden, on your street, in your local park.
Once you’ve found the object of your affections, simply throw your arms around its trunk and feel the love.
It’s fun to do with the whole family. If you, or your kids, feel a little shy at first, don’t worry. Ask your children to put their arms around the tree and encourage them to use all their senses; to smell the air, touch the bark, listen to the leaves rustle. You can also suggest they measure the tree with their arms and guess its age.
Pura’s partner, the Woodland Trust, has just launched its Hug a Tree campaign to connect people to nature and they want you to join them!
Hug a tree and donate £3 to help them care for woods and trees across the UK. It’s easy. When you’ve found your chosen tree, get involved by following three simple steps:
1. Take a photo hugging a tree.
2. Share it on social media using #HugATreeDonate3 and don't forget to tag the Woodland Trust!
3. Donate £3 at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/hugatree
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