World’s most common mood-enhancing plant

The path to health and happiness is lined with trees. Finland has the densest forests in the world. Home to an estimated 2.2 billion trees, the small nation has 72,000 trees for every square kilometre. That’s 4,500 trees for every one person. This may be the reason Finland is the happiest country on earth.

Trees put us in a good mood

Are you feeling stressed and anxious? A walk in the forest may help. A Japanese study of 585 adults found that fifteen minutes in the woods worked wonders. Those who went for a woodland ramble reported feeling less stressed, less anxious and less fatigued. Interestingly, the most anxious participants reaped the most significant benefits.

Trees boost our immune system

Trees defend themselves from bug bites and disease by releasing phytoncides, which are rich in antifungal and antibacterial qualities. When we breathe in phytoncides, our body’s ramp up the production of white blood cells, keeping us healthy and cold free. They get to work right away and keep our immune systems elevated for up to one week. Forests can even help combat climate change. Plants suck up and lock in 15 percent of the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions.

The benefits of money grows on trees

People living by trees in big cities seem to be in better health than those who don’t. Even those residing by greenspace are less healthy than their tree-loving neighbours. But what’s the magic number of trees? According to one study, ten should suffice. Planting ten trees in a city block brings similar health benefits to increasing your annual income by $10,000, or being seven years younger.

Tree-lined streets are safer

Those living in tree-lined neighbourhoods feel calmer and tend to spend more time outside. Also, tree-lined streets appear to be well looked after, so criminals think they have a higher chance of being caught. Indeed, trees keep us happy, healthy and safe. They inspire us, motivate us and clean the air we breathe. They may be rather smart too. According to “The Hidden Life of Trees,” trees have humanlike families and build complex social networks. Much like human parents, trees communicate with their children. They share nutrients, protect each other from the elements, and even warn acquaintances of impending danger. Now that’s what I call a tree-mendously interesting fact.

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