Mud Makes us Happy and Healthy…
“Playing in the mud makes us happy as soil contains the bacteria mycobacterium vaccae and triggers a release of serotonin – the happy hormone”. Quote taken from Helen and Debby’s pamphlet “Re-engaging with nature”.
In 2004, Dr. Mary O’Brien, an oncologist in London, published a paper with unexpected results. After injecting lung cancer patients with a common soil bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae to see if it could prolong their life, she found that it significantly improved their mood and quality of life. Her patients reported feeling happier and more energetic. This spurred additional research over the years.
Spending time reconnecting to the earth can improve our overall health and well-being.
This is all good news when you have a week when it rains and rains and everywhere is muddy. On a Forest School day at Annan, mud can’t be avoided. It comes in many forms, thick and squelchy and deep and squishy. We are so lucky that we can go outside in any weather. A parent on a viewing this week, (in a rare moment of dry weather), stood in the infant garden and asked “What happens when it rains?” Well at Annan the answer is “We wear waterproofs and get wet!”.