Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Health Benefits of Being In the Presence of Trees

As I write, I'm sitting under
our silver maple tree.
Tree At My Window by Robert Frost 
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.
We sleep with the curtains open because I like to fall asleep looking at our silver maple tree. I figured Robert Frost would approve, but there may be more to my peculiar trait. Simply being in the presence of trees reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases your immune defense system. It's part of a national health program in Japan where they call it "forest bathing." You can get the gist of it in this short video from the World Economic Forum. 

I don't need any convincing, but I'm still adding Your Brain on Nature to my reading list. This is yet another good example of where wellness and environmental issues intersect and it presents a unique opportunity for me to include a poem on my blog. 

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