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Can Greenery Cure Depression?

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Can Greenery Cure Depression?

Chris  Prelitz
Chris Prelitz More by this author
Mar 20, 2010 at 05:45 AM 0 comments

I've always been attracted to open spaces with trees, meadows, and green flora in any form. The vibe of Mother Earth just felt better to me than most manmade environments. 

My home in Laguna Beach backs up to a greenbelt where I have incredible views that change daily with the seasons. I find it inspiring to look out on nature’s splendor, and calming to take breaks in the garden or greenbelt.

Well, a new Dutch study has found that people who live within 1 kilometer (6 tenths of a mile) of extensive green spaces have lower rates of 15 different diseases, including asthma, diabetes, and depression.

Depression was the one that really stood out. They found depression was twice as high for people living in an urban environment with very little green space, over people living near nature.

When I lived in Japan, there was a wonderful Japanese expression (which I've now forgotten) which translates as a forest bath. I just love the concept that a walk in the woods can wash away the worries of the city.

Most everyone admits they feel better when they get out in nature. Now, we have a study that says a walk in a park or the woods can not only rejuvenate and uplift us, but it could lower the rate of disease and depression. Mother Nature is proving again to be Mother Nurture.

If you don't have the luxury of a green space right around your block, consider a weekend trip to the nearest natural spot. And, make the trip on bike or mass transit of course.  :)

Remember, we're the one's we've been waiting for.

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