How Green Space Can Make Us Happier People
Green space is becoming more essential to our lives as we move further away from nature and further into our homes, plugged into our screens. The mental health epidemic that we see today has many theories on the source of it, but not very clear pathways to overcome it. Green space can be a significant force to fight against the mental health epidemic we are experiencing. Green space provides so many benefits merely through its presence. Through my research, I have found out what we have known for centuries: nature is healing. Not only do green spaces offer health benefits by acting as places to enjoy physical activity which is directly linked to lowered risk of chronic illness, but it offers mental health benefits in several ways. Green spaces can be catalysts for stress reduction. Green spaces also offer mitigation of air pollution acting as a natural filter for harmful particles. Places like parks, trails, and playgrounds offer increased sociability which is arguably one of the most important things green spaces can offer because of the mental health epidemic this nation is experiencing. The benefits range from poor to rich, from young to old. The increased urbanization of the world has dire consequences. When nature is replaced by artificial environments the benefits are lost and the consequences can be deadly. Policymakers, local leaders, educators, people of any background can help themselves and their communities by reintegrating nature into their lives. Children will be able to form strong social connections and develop needed social skills. The elderly will have places to congregate and stimulate their body and brain. Through the articles you read, I hope it will make it clear how important it is for man kind to keep connected with nature. We can avoid depression, chronic illness, stress, and so many other health risks through the simplest interactions with nature.