My last post got me thinking... every garden knows that plants make them feel better, but I wondered if there was an scientific research on the subject?
Turns out there is lots, and being around green spaces and plants is decidedly good for you:
It reduces stress related illness , reduce depression -- and the positive effects of living around parks it not just due to the increased exercise as this study found that even controlling for increased exercise, people living around lots of green spaces still have better mental health.
Usually reading scientific studies is fairly dry, but in the study I link to above on reducing depression (by a Japanese group of researchers) includes a perfectly wonderful Japanese phrase: Shinrin-yoku, which they translate as "forest air bathing" -- it is an awkward translation, but much people sun bath at the beach, you can also "bath" in the rich, restorative atmosphere of a forest. I've always loved the peace and beauty of woods, but I never thought of it was bathing before... What a lovely image! I'm going to have to go forest bathing this weekend.