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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on July 26, 2010 

New research in psychological science supports what many of us have known for a long time — that being outdoors, enjoying nature, is beneficial for mental health and psychological development.

“Many people,” says Dr. Eeva Karjalainen, of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla, “feel relaxed and good when they are out in nature. But not many of us know that there is also scientific evidence about the healing effects of nature.”

Forests — and other natural, green settings — can reduce stress, improve moods, reduce anger and aggressiveness and increase overall happiness.

Forest visits may also strengthen our immune system by increasing the activity and number of natural killer cells that destroy cancer cells.

Many studies show that after stressful or concentration-demanding situations, people recover faster and better in natural environments than in urban settings.

Blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the level of “stress hormones” all decrease faster in natural settings.

Depression, anger and aggressiveness are reduced in green environments and ADHD symptoms in children reduce when they play in green settings.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/07/26/stressed-out-visit-a-forest/16011.html

 



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