Our Brains on Nature

Feeling stressed out? Get outside and give your brain a break!

Published February 15, 2017

Like our muscles, healthy brains require stimulation and rest. In our hyper-connected world, stimulation is easy to come by. The more time we spend indoors and online, the less opportunity we have to get outside and properly recharge our batteries.beach-dunes

"Scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding, and stress, and increase our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people," according to Berkeley’s Jill Suttie

A recent Japanese study measured the heart rate and blood pressure of participants as half walked in forests and others walked in a city. After two days of regular walks, forest participants reported elevated moods and reduced stress. Their heart rates were also significantly lower than those walking in the city! "Forest bathing" is now a big trend among Japanese urbanites. 

Dropping everything and communing with nature is easier said than done—especially in the winter months. While we wait patiently for spring to arrive (32 days and counting!) take baby steps by putting the electronics down at night and visiting your local aquarium, museum or science center!

Do you have a favorite park or natural spot? Tell us about it in the comments!

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Marie Tharp the harp seal Animal Rescue Update: Harp Seal Admitted

National Aquarium Animal Rescue is currently caring for a female harp seal nicknamed Marie Tharp.

Read the full story

Cold-stunned turtle on beach Rescue to Release, Part 1: Is Climate Change Increasing Cold-Stunned Turtles?

Every year, when cold weather starts to hit the East Coast, hundreds of endangered, cold-stunned sea turtles wash ashore in Cape Cod Bay.

Read the full story

Related Stories

City Nature Challenge Recap

Published May 09, 2018

Can 3D Mapping Help Save the Ocean?

Published February 16, 2017