The word 'forest' has many meanings to me. First, it's my middle name, spelled the same way. My parents have always loved nature, and my mom used to be a journalist/photographer for wildlife magazines. Forest is also the title of my new album, which releases on April 22 (Earth Day).

 

A forest is also a place I go to for peace and healing. Being in nature has been proven to have many benefits on mental health. Check out the video and info below for more on the effects of nature on mental health, and organizations that help preserve our planet.

 

Nature can produce a multitude of positive emotions, such as calmness, joy and creativity.

  • Just looking at trees can reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

  • Various microbes in soil can increase serotonin levels (a natural antidepressant chemical), so start a garden, or just get your hands dirty!

  • Staring at a body of water can induce "blue mind," a mild meditative state. This requires spending some time away from your phone or computer screen.

LINKS:

The Nature Conservancy: https://preserve.nature.org

"When you make a tax-deductible donation to The Nature Conservancy, you’re supporting the most effective solutions to the environment’s most pressing challenges. No other nonprofit has done more to advance conservation around the world. That’s why your contribution is so much more than charity; it’s an investment in the future of our planet."

I have been a member for many years, and fully believe in their efforts.

 

Farm Bureau: http://fb.org

"Climate-smart farming practices to voluntary management of forests, grasslands, wetlands and croplands, farmers are not only reducing their footprint, but are also actively absorbing carbon from the atmosphere".

My family have been members of Farm Bureau for many years.

 

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS): https://www.vims.edu

"VIMS is one of the largest marine research and education centers in the US. It conducts research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, educates students and citizens and provides advisory service to policy makers, industry and the public. Healthy waterways and wetlands are the heart of nature's well being." VIMS School of Marine Science is the graduate school for The College of William & Mary, the college I graduated from.

 

Article: Nature on Nurture (American Psychological Association): https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature

 

Article: How Nature Therapy Helps Your Mental Health (Very Well Mind):

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-nature-therapy-helps...

 

Article: 'Blue Mind' Why Being Near the Water Makes You Happy (USA Today): https://www.usatoday.com/.../2017/11/13/blue-mind/857903001/

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SHANE

COOLEY

SHANE COOLEY