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Hug A Tree

Hug a Tree Day is an annual event for Monaghan Tidy Towns.

Hug a Tree Day is an annual event for Monaghan Tidy Towns. Initiated in 2018 this is an event usually held in late spring or early summer. The event includes a tree walk, some yoga or mindfulness and the encouragement to hug a tree or two at the end!

This year ecologist Billy Flynn led the walk and talk on trees. Some laughing yoga was part of the plan, however the weather did not cooperate and we all had to make do with giving a few hugs to the trees before taking shelter in the Coffee Dock.  The original idea for this event was inspired by studies over the years that correlated the presence of green spaces with lower symptoms of depression and improved well-being. Trees, gardening and getting out into nature in general are all known to be good for our mental health. The Japanese call it Shinrin–yoku or “forest bathing”. Spending time in green and natural environments has been shown to lower blood pressure, glucose levels and stress hormones. This has been part of the Japanese national health programme since 1982. Researchers in Germany have also found physical evidence that a tree-filled environment can boost our mental health.  Brain scans on 350 adults found the structure of the amygdala – the part of the brain which deals with anxiety – was more robust among those with close access to trees. The upshot of all this is that trees are good for us, not only do they provide us with wood for construction, furniture and heat but they also clean the air of pollution and carbon dioxide while adding beauty to our landscape and making us feel good too.Monaghan Tidy Towns seeks to promote the appreciation of trees in and around our town environment and this event is all about just that.

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