THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND has come and gone and the last gaggle of relatives waved goodbye. The remainders of the Thanksgiving leftovers are stuffed in Tupperware containers in the fridge, and sale steals are safely stowed in closets before gift wrapping officially begins. Tis the season to jump to the next holiday the minute the last one ends, because well…. THERE ARE THINGS TO DO.
With the seasonal rush also comes a serving of stress, and if you’re a city dweller, the honking horns and the crowded streets can get twice as wild around this time of the year. Since over 50% of us opt to live where there is a Starbucks within walking distance, the holidays can put us on edge.
Scientific research has shown that trading in an afternoon of store hopping for trees may ease frayed nerves. A brief hike in nature or a bike ride through the park, away from the chaos of a scheduled existence, improves mood, memory, attention, and may decrease negative emotions. A study conducted at Stanford university found that a nature walk reduced the activity of the subgenual prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that shows increased activity when experiencing sadness and negative thoughts.
Tree huggers may be on to something.