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Parents, make sure you’re working some time outside into your curricular plans!
We kind of already know this – if not intuitively then through past studies – but a new study has shown that when you spend more time out in nature, you feel more alive. Published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the study shows that getting out and communing with nature is better for feeling rejuvenated than reaching for the ever-so-urban cup of coffee. “Nature is fuel for the soul, ” says Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. Both physically and mentally, we’re zippier when we step into the wild.
Science Daily writes, “The findings, adds Ryan, are important for both mental and physical health. ‘Research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings,’ says Ryan.”
For all those dismayed by scenes of looting in disaster-struck zones, whether Haiti or Chile or elsewhere, take heart: Good acts — acts of kindness, generosity and cooperation — spread just as easily as bad. And it takes only a handful of individuals to really make a difference.