Landmark study finds causal link between nature walks and stress reduction

Landmark study finds causal link between nature walks and stress reduction

By the end of the week, many people feel stressed and tired.

And in response, over the weekend, many people turn to partying and drinking, binge watching or “doing nothing” to try to recover.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these activities, but if you really want to feel less stressed, happier, and better all round then … GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY SOME NATURE!

via New Atlas by Rich Haridy

We all know a good, long walk in nature can be relaxing, but a landmark new study from researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development offers some of the first causal evidence to show exactly how a one-hour walk in the forest reduces activity in brain areas responsible for processing stress.

For decades researchers have reported a myriad of mental health differences between people living in rural and urban environments. It’s clear spending time in natural environments can be psychologically beneficial – after all, no one associates a long walk in a forest with stress.

But several questions surrounding the association between nature and relaxation have remained unanswered. Sonja Sudimac, lead author on the new research, said it hasn’t been clear whether urban environments actually cause more stress or whether exposure to natural environments reduces stress?

“… so far the hen-and-egg problem could not be disentangled, namely whether nature actually caused the effects in the brain or whether the particular individuals chose to live in rural or urban regions,” said Sudimac…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE