Get Outside to Feel Better
Want to feel better today?
That's right - scoot. get away from the computer and get outside. Go find some trees, a garden, any place that is natural.
Even images of nature makes you feel better. In one study, subjects were shown sets of images and were then immediately asked a set of questions. Those that had seen images of natural environments held community and family values higher than those that had seen man made enviroments.
Nature may influence people by helping them connect to their authentic selves, the authors suggest. After all, humans evolved in hunter-and-gatherer societies that depended on nature. Moreover, being in nature may help people relax, become more introspective, withdraw from the pressures of society and strip themselves of the artifices of society.
The study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, might help persuade urban planners to incorporate more parks, green space and nature into city life.
"We are influenced by our environment in ways that we are not aware of," the lead author of the study, Netta Weinstein, said in a news release. "The more you appreciate nature, the more you can benefit."
Truly, happiness is looking out across fresh fields, gazing at a distant tree, feeling the sun on your back and the wind brushing your skin.