The Hidden Benefits of Hugging a Tree
When was the last time you spent time in nature? Did you notice how good it made you feel? You may have felt the grounding energy that comes from being in contact with nature, and some research has even shown that spending just 20 minutes in nature can reduce stress levels by 68%. So, what if there was an activity that combined being in nature with something we already love to do? That’s exactly what hugging a tree does, but it doesn’t just relieve stress—it also has other health benefits, too! Read on to learn more about the benefits of hugging a tree!
1) Grounding Energy
Even if you don’t live next to an oak tree, there are still ways to ground yourself and release excess energy. One way is through meditation, which allows you to breathe deeply and gather your thoughts in one focused place. You can also walk barefoot or sit on the ground.
2) Improves Heart Health
Evidence is mounting that contact with nature can help improve our heart health. One study from UC Berkeley found that when we experience nature—whether by hiking in nearby trails or simply observing trees and birds on our walk to work—we can increase our heart rate variability, which is associated with lower risk for cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes and stroke.
3) Combats Depression
Trees’ positive effects on our mental and emotional health have been well documented. Researchers are even calling trees nature’s Prozac, noting that feeling grounded or connected to nature can reduce anxiety and depression. When you hug a tree, you become grounded to its powerful roots, releasing an energy transfer that can aid in battling seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or depression year-round.
4) Reduces Stress
Trees are one of nature’s greatest stress-reducers, and their calming effect is known as grounding energy. Put simply, it works by connecting you to your surroundings and allowing yourself to feel grounded in both space and time. When you hug a tree or lie on top of it, you receive grounding energy through its roots. This has proven effective for people who have high levels of anxiety or panic attacks, or those who suffer from ADD/ADHD symptoms like nervousness and agitation.