My wife and I took a walk through the woods in the Silver Springs State Park recently. It was a beautiful day, and we needed a break, so we decided to explore. Along the way, we talked about “Forest Bathing”, and the restorative benefits of being outside in a natural environment – particularly during trying seasons in life.
Afterword, I stumbled upon an older article from Fast Company, citing research that confirmed what we already knew: Being Near Plants Will Make Your Life Better.
“Studying the impact of the natural world on the brain is actually a scandalously new idea,” says Richard Louv, author of the 2008 bestseller Last Child in the Woods—the book that minted the term nature deficit disorder—and The Nature Principle, his 2010 follow-up about adults. It should’ve been studied 30 to 50 years ago.”
Jenny Roe is an environmental psychologist who studies the biophilia hypothesis – the theory that posits that we are all hard-wired for connection with nature. Her study showed that more green space in deprived urban neighborhoods in Scotland is linked to lower levels of perceived stress and improved physiological stress as measured by diurnal patterns of cortisol secretion (the primary stress hormone). The researchers found that both men and women living in a setting devoid of nature had worse stress regulation. But, the women were even worse off – they showed signs of burnout, chronic stress, and exhaustion.
Takeaway Truth: Consider how to create meaningful opportunities for people to connect with nature.
Results: Less stress, better outlook, enhanced wellbeing.
So, there you have it: Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me in the Morning.
Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm, landscape architects and planners in the business of Enhancing Wellbeing through the timeless design of sustainable outdoor spaces.
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