Spending Time in Nature Reduces Stress – But How Much?

Matthew Forkin in the Wild courtesy National Geographic

Matthew Forkin in the wild courtesy National Geographic

A growing number of researchers are finding evidence that stress levels drop off and mental function improves when you get out into nature. Florence Williams explores the science behind nature therapy in National Geographic’s “This is Your Brain on Nature.”

The article looks scientific findings behind the three day effect, the theory that three days in nature will recalibrate your brain and improve creative thinking. Shorter jaunts such as a 50 minute walk down to a 15 minute meditation – even virtual nature can have physiological and cognitive benefits according to Williams.

One thing Williams doesn’t delve into is the aspects of nature that can significantly raise your stress levels. As they say, nature always wins. It may be that researchers are finding that nature, when it’s peaceful, gives us peace. But nature when it’s wild – well that’s something else to study.