Do Good to Feel Good: Plant a Tree

Last weekend, Steve and I took advantage of a beautiful fall afternoon (and  little extra energy) and went for a short walk on one of the trails in Mill Mountain Park, a forested space we are lucky to have just minutes from our home. Our walk was more stroll than hike, and it included a peaceful interlude resting on a bench halfway through. In a sense, we were doing what the Japanese call “forest bathing” (shinrin-yoku), immersing ourselves in the woods for a while, which has been shown to have powerful physical and psychological benefits.


As Steve noted in his recent guest blog on Taxol, the chemotherapy drug I am currently taking, trees offer us and our world so many benefits. So, for this installment of doing good to feel good: consider planting a tree!

Plant a Tree

Trees help remove pollution from the atmosphere, clean our water, cool the earth, provide habitat to wildlife, and even reduce crime (see the National Arbor Day website for more detail). Trees are, of course, also a source of great beauty.


And research has shown that walking in the forest, breathing in the phyto-chemicals released by trees, can help fight cancer. In honor and celebration of today’s last chemotherapy treatment, I want to say thanks to the trees!

So, do good to feel good: visit the Arbor Day website to explore what trees flourish in your area, and what might be successfully planted this time of year. Consider planting a tree sapling in your yard today, or if that isn’t feasible, consider support planting trees in another area of the world.

Trees are good for the planet, and good for you!


∼Science–and common sense–tells us that doing something good for others is good for us: it raises our endorphins, boosts our self-esteem, gives us an emotional lift. Doing good is good for others and for healing ourselves. In this feature, I occasionally suggest a small action each of us can take to make the world a better place. I will if you will!∼

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