Does Green Improve your Mood?

Do you like having greenery around you? I do. I love living near it and exploring it. Living in Oregon, we are certainly not short on having nature around. I'm surrounded by tall, luscious spruce trees, bushes growing blackberries, and in spring our rhododendron flowers.

There's something really fantastic about God creating plants for us to enjoy. They're not only good to eat and live off of but just being in the presence of shrubs improves the emotions. When I go out, I like sitting in a park, hiking a trail or mountains and smelling the grass. It's serene and comforting and the world doesn't seem so complicated.

When my mom was alive, she loved to grow all kinds of plants and she definitely had a green thumb. I remember us always growing something in our little Chicago apartment. She dressed the windows with philodendrons. When I got on my own, I liked growing herbs in my kitchen. I love watching them bloom and hubby and I planted some bushes in Florida when we lived in our townhouse. They didn't grow fast but when they did, they filled the whole front yard and they looked amazing.

Even as a little girl, I was always drawn to trees. I loved climbing them. It always felt good to be around plants, flowers, and grass. But growing up in big cities, I didn't get to see much of nature as I do now. I think that's one reason my mom grew plants for us. I was reading an article published in The New York Times about how walking in the park changes the brain and this one quote is so true, "City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show." Living and working in the city for me was like a CD in 10x fast forward. Also, I didn't get an hour for lunch, but 30 minutes which isn't enough time away from the job. 

In the article mentioned above, it was suggested that even just finding a park to walk in helps improve the mood. When I lived in Georgia and I could walk in the park across the street from the bank I worked at, I remember how that helped me. I was more refreshed the rest of the day. But in Florida, I wasn't near any parks and it was a stressful environment. When we moved to Oregon almost five years ago, my health greatly improved. Stress is not something completely avoidable, but being around greens is playing a huge role in keeping me healed. Even if I'm working on a tight deadline and can't get outside for awhile, I thank Jesus that I can look out my window and see those beautiful trees blowing in the wind that He so beautifully created. :)