Spending time outside - growing up I'd play with other neighborhood kids until the street lights came or mum called us in for dinner. It was fun and full of adventure.
Fast forward a few decades and life has changed. Technology has simultaneously made our lives easier and bogged us down. We can find ourselves glued to our smartphones, computers or TV's with channels AND the internet. Connected yet disconnected.
But the need to get outside has not gone away. Underneath it all our bodies and minds crave some sunlight, movement and fresh air filling our lungs. Some smart little cookies at Stanford University demonstrated this in research that was publish earlier this year.
They randomly assigned participants to a 50 minute walk in either a natural or urban environment. Compared to the urban walkers (which I imagine still experienced positive benefits from getting outside and having a stroll) the nature walkers had clear benefits in terms of their affect (such as decreased anxiety and less negative thought rumination) and cognition (they performed better on a complex working memory task).
Try it out for yourself and start small: plan for one 50 minute block this week, set aside your mobile phone, head outside and find some natural greenspace that you can immerse yourself in.
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