Reading (actually listening to) “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative” (W.W. Norton & Company, 2017) could not have come at a better time.

I have long been a strong advocate for getting outside. I just didn’t know all of the science behind why or how truly beneficial it is to one’s entire well-being.

Having recently moved to suburbia has me a bit on edge. There’s just so much dang concrete here in Chico. This is after years spent in Tahoe as well as the last three winters in Baja with its expansive beaches along the Pacific Ocean as well as mountains. I had daily views of the outdoors, I could walk in nature from my front door. I don’t have that anymore. Now, mostly, I need to drive; though, fortunately not far to be immersed in Ma Nature.

What author Florence Williams taught me is how people thrive when nature is part of their lives. Even photos of nature can help. There are physical, mental and emotional benefits to nature.

Williams shares various studies that have been conducted by researchers throughout the world about the effects nature has on people. It’s more than just becoming unplugged from devices and not being cooped up indoors. There is proof that Mother Nature is like a positive drug without negative side effects.

It made me realize that perhaps some of the difficulty I was having adjusting to Chico was really a lack of nature. It’s amazing now when I take AJ to Bidwell Park that I literally feel a calmness come over me. I’ve been transformed from the concrete of my neighborhood within just minutes. Even better, my neighborhood has walking trails that are not concrete that go by man made lakes. It’s not Lake Tahoe or the Pacific Ocean, but it’s something–something good.

While the book has plenty of facts and figures to back up the message, it’s written in an easy to understand manner. It is definitely not a scientific journal.

If you ever doubted the power of the outdoors, this will have you convinced doctors should be writing “get outside” on prescription pads instead of take some drug.

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