If you're among the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who spent part of the weekend celebrating Earth Day in nature, you're likely feeling relaxed, refreshed and re-energized.
I am. But my hypothesis about your state is based on more than personal experience. It's based on sound science.
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Researchers around the world arrive at the same conclusion: time in nature makes us smarter, healthier and happier.!
Regular immersion in a natural setting — like a park, woodland or forest — lowers blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels, and boosts immunity. "Green time" also reduces feelings of anger and depression, while increasing energy, creativity and attention span.
We know this intuitively. But to have it validated scientifically — well that's a breath of fresh of air!
According to Your Brain on Nature, by Drs. Alan Logan and Eva Selhub, the lure of electronic technology is largely to blame for our national nature deficit disorder.
That's half the equation. We're the other half!
We have to choose to make time in nature a priority — even on days with jam-packed schedules (or when "Glee" is on TV).
The benefits of taking time to soak up nature come back to us in spades. Imagine your workday (or your kids' school day) with a 20 per cent increase in short-term memory and a 50 per cent increase in creativity!
Drs. Logan and Selhub say "sustainability of the planet is not merely about being a good citizen and recycling; it is ultimately about maintaining an intimate relationship with nature."
Let's be smarter, healthier and happier (and greener) every day — not just Earth Day!
Tovah Paglaro, Queen of Green
P.S. Tell me why you're signing up for the 30×30 Nature Challenge and you could win a copy of "Your Brain on Nature".