The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams is a fascinating read. I knew that going hiking regularly helps me feel better, but I didn’t know that nature is scientifically proven to help use emotionally and cognitively.
Florence traveled to many countries and across our own to meet with scientists, psychologist, researchers and land management personnel to learn more about how nature affects us, what type of nature we need (city park vs wilderness), and how much time we should spend in nature in order to receive its benefits (minimum of 5 hours per month).
She delves into how we experience nature through sight, sound, and smell. Florence also looks into the disconnect we’ve been experiencing from nature due to advances in technology and the effect this disconnect can have on the next generation. A study found that “American and British children today spend half as much time outdoors as their parents did.”
Some countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and Finland, are creating government programs to get people outside more in order to cope with the growing epidemic of anxiety and mood disorders. Singapore has gone so far as to create their “city in a garden.”
Florence says what it comes down to is this:
“Go outside, often, sometimes in wild places. Bring friends or not. Breathe.”
And I whole heatedly agree.