The Case For Keeping A Pine-Scented Item In Your Office
Aromatherapists rejoice: There's now hard evidence showing that being exposed to the scent of nature -- specifically trees and plants -- is almost as good for the body as being outside.
What's the Latest Development?
In studies on tree and plant essential oils -- also known as phytoncides -- scientists at Tokyo-based Nippon Medical School discovered that when they put test subjects in hotel rooms with and without cypress aromatherapy, those exposed to the aroma experienced the same positive physical effects as subjects documented in prior studies who walked through wooded areas. Their results led to the creation of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine, which held its first international symposium last year.
What's the Big Idea?
It's long been known that walks in nature work to reduce stress levels and improve immune functions, but the idea that forest therapy administered in a non-forest setting could achieve similar results was not made credible until recently. Evidence is also building around the health benefits of simply looking at photos of nature. Now, in addition to Japan, other countries are launching ambitious health projects around forest therapy: "[T]he Finnish Forest Research Institute is conducting a multi-year research program on forests and human well-being [and South Korea is] opening a new $140 million National Forest Therapy Center in 2014."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Setting a simple intention and coming prepared can help you — and those around you — win big.
- Setting an intention doesn't have to be complicated, and it can make a great difference when you're hoping for a specific outcome.
- When comedian Pete Holmes is preparing to record an episode of his podcast, "You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes," he takes 15 seconds to check in with himself. This way, he's primed with his own material and can help guests feel safe and comfortable to share theirs, as well.
- Taking time to visualize your goal for whatever you've set out to do can help you, your colleagues, and your projects succeed.
The Amazon Rainforest is often called "the planet's lungs."
- For weeks, fires have been burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, likely started by farmers and ranchers.
- Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has blamed NGOs for starting the flames, offering no evidence to support the claim.
- There are small steps you can take to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
How do we combat the roots of these hateful forces?
- American Psychological Association sees a dubious and weak link between mental illness and mass shootings.
- Center for the study of Hate and Extremism has found preliminary evidence that political discourse is tied to hate crimes.
- Access to guns and violent history is still the number one statistically significant figure that predicts gun violence.