Two articles about the mental health benefits of “doses” of nature

Two articles about the mental health benefits of “doses” of nature

Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative,” published by the Wall Street Journal, reviews “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative” by Florence Williams. The author, a writer for one of mhconcierge’s favorite magazines, Outside, explores what current research has found about the benefits of spending time outdoors, regularly and frequently.  She concludes that even small, regular doses of time in natural settings, such as 15-45 minutes in a city park, are “enough to improve mood, vitality and feelings of restoration.”

Also, Florence Williams wrote “To Fight the Winter Blues, Try a Dose of Nature.”  This article provides more detailed discussion about the research that finds benefits, including some improvements for mental health, of spending time in nature.  One interesting concept that Ms. Williams discusses is the “nature pyramid,” which is similar to the food pyramid which helps us visualize healthy portions of food groups.  The nature pyramid as more powerful, but for most of us rare, experiences at the top, such as spending a weekend at a State park, and “lower doses” are at the bottom, such as walking in a city area with trees on a lunch break. She recommends a “daily dose” of the lower levels of the pyramid, and getting doses of the really good stuff when possible.

(Accessing these articles, published by the Wall Street Journal, may require a subscription)

mhconcierge wonders:  should we start “prescribing” regular doses of time outdoors, visits to parks, walks in the woods?

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