Feeling in an emotional rut or want to get the creative juices flowing? The solution can be as easy as walking in the park. Nature nourishes! Research shows a simple walk in a natural environment reduces rumination. Rumination is repetitive thoughts focused on negative aspects of oneself. Nature therapy also reduces activity in the brain; specifically in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness.
Many other research studies show time in nature promotes lower levels of stress hormones, lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, increased parasympathetic nerve activity, lower sympathetic nerve activity, decreased anxiety, increased memory performance and improved creative problem solving. Take a hike!
Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Gregory N. Bratman, J. Paul Hamilton Kevin S. Hahn, Gretchen C. Daily, and James J. Gross. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; vol. 112 no. 28: 8567–8572. http://www.pnas.org/content/112/28/8567.abstract