Depression, Happiness, mental health

Nature Is Good For You (But You Knew That Already)

OK. I’m reaching back a month or two here, but it’s worth repeating: “Nature is good for you.” Now we have the (cognitive neuro-) science to prove it:

In the past several months, a bevy of studies have added to a growing literature on the mental and physical benefits of spending time outdoors. That includes recent research showing that short micro-breaks spent looking at a nature scene have a rejuvenating effect on the brain — boosting levels of attention — and also that kids who attend schools featuring more greenery fare better on cognitive tests.

And Monday, yet another addition to the literature arrived — but this time with an added twist. It’s a cognitive neuroscience study, meaning not only that benefits from a nature experience were captured in an experiment, but also that their apparent neural signature was observed through brain scans. Continue reading

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Culture, Depression, Happiness

The irony is that we all–secular or religious people alike–make our biggest life-changing decisions on faith. Like is too short to learn what you need to know to live well. So we make a leap of faith when it comes to what we should believe in, who we will marry, and our careers. Who we happen to meet, one conversation when you were eighteen, the college course you happened to sign up for, the teacher you liked, the elevator you missed and the girl you met in the next one, decide whole lives. You would have to live a lifetime to be qualified to make any big decisions. … Only the trivialities–say, buying cars, washing machines, or airline seats–are chosen on the basis of good information.

–Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God

Why It Takes Lifetimes to Make a Good Decisions

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