From: The Huffington Post

The Unexpected Rewards of ‘Nearby Nature’

The Huffington Post:

I live in one of the liveliest neighborhoods of a large city. I’ve lived in this city for almost all of my adult life, and I love all the urban sights and noises, right down to the sirens. But I also know the many patches of nature hidden away in my city. On those occasions when I need solitude and quiet and respite from the hectic metropolitan pace, I am minutes from streams and woodland.

My rural friends don’t think of these urban enclaves as real nature, but I disagree. I feel restored when I get out among the oaks, sassafras and yarrow, and when I hear the warblers singing. And new research backs me up on this. It comes from the Happiness Lab at Carleton University, which is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital and a city about the size of mine. Psychological scientists Elizabeth Nisbet and John Zelenski suspected that most people, including city dwellers, don’t believe in the emotional benefits of nearby nature — and therefore simply don’t bother. They wanted to disprove this notion by showing that even short nature walks can increase one’s sense of well-being.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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