Many people go on walks to clear their heads, but apparently, walks are only effective when they're out in nature. Like, real, green nature — not the kind surrounded by skyscrapers.
Using brain scans, researchers from Stanford University found that, out of 38 participants, the half who took 90-minute walks in a natural setting had lower levels of repetitive, distressing thoughts compared to the other half who took 90-minute walks in an urban setting.
Past research has shown that urban settings are linked to increased rates of mental illness, including depression, though scientists haven't pinpointed the exact reason why. So, it's important for those of us who live in concrete jungles to find time for grass and trees and, you now, general shrubbery.
This study may have been small (and depression clearly has more than one cause), but it just adds to the growing body of research that suggests the importance of connecting with nature.
Lifting your spirits shouldn't be like lifting weights, though it can feel like that sometimes; it should be a walk in the park — literally.
(h/t Pacific Standard)