"Your Brain On Nature" by Alan Logan ND and Eva Selhub MD
More news that getting out into Pachamama's beautiful world is a great thing! Both for your brain and your body. Just heard an interview with Alan Logan and Eva Selhub on CBC radio today, promoting their new book "Your Brain, On Nature: The science of nature's influence on your health, happiness and vitality".
"People commonly report that spending time in nature makes them feel better. A series of recent studies provides scientific support for this notion. Sophisticated brain-imaging techniques show that when healthy adults view nature scenes rich in vegetation, areas of the brain associated with emotional stability, empathy, and love are more active. These same pathways are activated when a person looks at pictures of a loved one. In contrast, viewing scenes of the built urban environment produced a significant increase in activity of the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with fear and stress. These findings support previous investigations showing that nature scenes can enhance brain-wave activity in ways that are similar to the benefits of meditation."
"Recent studies employing land-use data and satellite technology have reported that access to green space within a kilometre of one's residence is associated with improved mental health. Indeed, large population studies show that those with the least green space within one kilometre of home have a 25 per cent greater risk of depression and a 30 per cent higher risk of an anxiety disorder. Multiple studies from Japan show spending time in forests can lower stress, improve mental outlook, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Separate studies have shown similar cognitive-enhancing effects of short periods spent in natural settings. Spending just 20 minutes in vegetation-rich nature has been shown to improve vitality. Given that vitality is defined in psychological lexicon as emotional strength in the face of internal and external oppositions, and living life with enthusiasm and zest, the implications for personal and planetary health are enormous."