Even without corroborating evidence, many parents notice significant changes in their hyperactive child's behavior when they hike in mountains or enjoy other nature-oriented outings.
“My son is still on Ritalin, but he's so much calmer in the outdoors that we're seriously considering mov9ing to the mountains,' one mother says.
Could it simply be that he needs more physical activity?
'No, he gets that, in sports,” says the mother. “There's just something calming to him about being outside in nature.”
Many physicians and psychologist agree. “Our brains are set up for an agrarian, nature-oriented existence that came into focus five thousand years ago,” says Michael Gurian, a family therapist and author of The Good Son and The Wonder of Boys. “Neurologically, human beings haven't caught up with today's overstimulating environment.”
Stephen and Rachel Kaplan, experimental psychologists at the University of Michigan surveyed more than twelve hundred corporate and state office building workers . Those with a window view of trees, bushes, or large lawns experienced significantly less frustration and more work enthusiasm than employees without such view.
Like similar studies on stress reduction, this study demonstrates that a person does not have to live in the wilderness to reap nature's psychological benefits—including the ability to work better and think more clearly.
To be continued...