Connection with Nature

Books, scientific reports, research papers, and articles on the physical, cognitive, emotional, and societal benefits of getting outdoors and connecting with nature.

Book: Your Brain on Nature

A classic work on the benefits of getting outside (and the perils of not doing so): Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality, by Eva M. Selhub and Alan C. Logan. From a review on Amazon.com:

“The author gets right into the research on the ways in which spending time in nature or watching nature scenes can impact our stress levels. Not just the way we “feel” but the actual physiology, hormones etc, even brain studies using MRI are discussed.”

Book: Last Child in the Woods

Another must-read: Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv. But we believe the principle applies to adults as well. Our disconnection from the natural world threatens both our own well-being, and our treatment of wild places.

“In his landmark work Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv brought together cutting-edge studies that pointed to direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. Now this new edition updates the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in children’s lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv’s message has galvanized an international back-to-nature campaign to “Leave No Child Inside.” His book will change the way you think about our future and the future of our children.”

Organization: Shinrin Yoku, or Forest Bathing

“Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Researchers primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Now their research is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world.”

Read more about the benefits of being in nature, and about this growing practice from shinrinyoku.org, in Santa Rosa, CA, and be sure to check out the Shinrin Yoku page about research on spending time in nature.

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