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The Nature Fix – Florence Williams

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★★★★ ½

A surprisingly enjoyable journey into what it means to be healthy and happy.

we all need nearby nature: we benefit cognitively and psychologically from having trees, bodies of water, and green spaces just to look at; we should be smarter about landscaping our schools, hospitals, workplaces and neighborhoods so everyone gains.

So much of health and happiness in the “modern” world is found through non-natural means.

Sad? Here’s a handful of pills.

Bored? Here’s a screen and a controller.

Depressed? Exercise in a gym, plus more pills.

And yet, the more mankind has developed these catch-all cures…the further we stray from nature.

Florence Williams decides to go back to nature and find clues to what we left behind.

She seeks to answer the question, “Does nature really help? And can we measure it?” (The answer is yes, to both).

Nature appears to act directly upon our autonomic systems, calming us, but it also works indirectly, through facilitating social contact and through encouraging exercise and physical movement.

She traveled the world – from Japan to Finland to Scotland and beyond – seeking out the latest research into how the natural world benefits mankind.

And her results? Absolutely stunning.

If you have time for vacation, don’t go to a city. Go to a natural area. Try to go one weekend a month

I have never truly considered the impact of nature upon my life.

Nature was always just sort of *there* in the background. You look out a window, you see trees. Boom. Done.

I mean, I did notice that I would feel better after a walk in a park or reading a book under the shade of my maple tree. But I always connected that to having free time and just having fun in general.

Apparently not.

It was incredibly cool to learn about the measurable effects nature has on our bodies – calmer brains, higher T-cells (which combat infections) and stress levels dropping like hot potatoes.

Reading her book has convinced me – taking long walks in a park is an absolute must and hiking with my family on trails is going to be the number-one priority this summer.

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.

Interested in this one from Florence Williams? Buy it here:  Amazon

 

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