If you’ve had a bad day, you should consider spending more time in nature. A study conducted by Gregory Bratman, a graduate student at the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, has found that a simple walk in the park could improve the way our minds are working. Bratman had been studying the psychological effects of urban living and already knew that city living could have a negative psychological impact on people. Bratman took it further, completing a study on whether city living could increase the amount of brooding (focusing on the bad aspects of life) a person does. In the study, Bratman gathered 38 healthy adults living in the city who subsequently completed a questionnaire that would measure the amount of brooding they did. Then, Bratman ordered half of the subjects to walk for 90 minutes in the city of Palo Alto, while the other half walked in the lush, green campus of Stanford. Immediately following, they completed the same questionnaire. It was found that the brooding of the city-walkers had remained unchanged, but those who walked along the peaceful Stanford campus had a slightly improved mental state.
Contributor: Claire Pacek