The Benefits of Nature for Mental Health

In this week's NOW Magazine, Canadian food policy writer, Wayne Roberts, talks about why it's important to incorporate nature into our city planning, and the benefits of nature on mental health and wellbeing. Here's an excerpt: "Canoe trips require hours of strenuous exercise that make a recognized contribution to mental and physical well-being. The absence of plugs for TV or computers in the great outdoors alters the psyche and minimizes stress, the key mental illness trigger. Though an understanding of the human brain can be helpful, our understanding of the basic preconditions for mental health depends more on common sense than rocket science or brain surgery.

Nature is anything but quiet, but the sounds of life in the woods are more soothing and harmonious, less grinding and jerky than those Iā€™m used to. Nature is anything but clean, neat, gleaming and bright, but the repetitive (fractal) patterns of leaves and waves are as soothing as the earth-toned shades of rock and land.

Eating and breathing, we feel the world deep within us, not outside. And gazing into the night sky at the Milky Way, we gain perspective on daily hassles and feel bathed in the spirit of thanking our lucky stars."

Read the full article here.