Most of us have experienced the calming, rejuvenating feelings of freedom and well-being associated with visiting a wilderness area. So, when you find yourself immersed in nature—a forest, a canyon, a river, a tropical island, a garden—do you make a little promise to yourself to expand and cultivate this feeling in your future?
Perhaps this kind of longing for a permanent vacation is one way your intuition is telling you that nature can be a healthy force in your life.
This universal, intuitive feeling about nature and health is now being validated with scientific research.
So far, the most influential paper I’ve read on the subject is by Ming Kuo, in the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The paper’s title is: How might contact with nature promote human health? Promising mechanisms and a possible central pathway. It was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, 25 August, 2015.
“The range of specific health outcomes tied to nature is startling,” says Kuo. Specifically she mentions healthy outcomes pertaining to depression & anxiety disorders, diabetes mellitus, ADHD, cardiovascular disease and many more physical and psychological conditions. She goes on to hypothesize that many secondary, or downstream, health benefits may be the result of healthier immune systems.
Check out Ming’s writings. That’s my advice.