Is there really a link between nature and health? Can woodlands really have a positive impact on grief?
Well, the answer is yes! Woodlands and grief have both anecdotal evidence and research to suggest that spending time in nature, relieves the powerful sensations of grief.
How Does it Work?
There are a few things going on that have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
Firstly, fresh air has a major benefit. It aids sleep (a common problem during grief) and helps our broader physical health.
Secondly, being in nature usually involves an element of exercise, again allowing our natural body chemicals to improve our mood or sense of peace. Even sitting, we are more likely to look around us, point and be active.
There is some evidence that the sounds of nature are also calming. People who are unable to move freely, may still benefit from a woodland soundtrack.
Lastly, when we find ourselves pondering the wonder of the natural world, we often find our immediate fears or concerns are given a different perspective.
Results from a study in 2019 by Frontiers in Psychology, showed that just 20 minutes in nature could reduce the levels of cortisol in an individual (the stress hormone).
An article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology noted that woodlands had an even bigger impact than parklands.
Feedback from Families
Here are some of the ways that Granville’s Wood has helped our families:
“The wood is so beautiful in so many ways, to be so close to nature and be part of the amazing woodland family has helped us so much.” Alison
“…in the woodland is the most tranquil, nature filled haven in the world.” Carol
“I feel so calm when I’m in Granvilles woods… We knew it was the perfect place for my mum but I never knew how calming it would be for me…” Lisa
Our restoration project has developed in many ways we could not have imagined. To hear the positive impact of the physical space encourages us to continue. We are hoping to create a communal area, so that people who may not have their own bench, can still sit and enjoy the benefits of the woodland.