Monday, November 2, 2009

Let Nature Nurture You

This is the news we've (I've) been waiting for: Researchers (who may even have actual PhDs) have shown in a series of experiments that living in a natural environment "makes us nicer"! An article in MSNBC summarizes the findings.

While none of this is actual "news" to most of us, some folks wouldn't believe it unless some chunk of our tax dollars had been dedicated to proving this simple point. Just like that study that showed that abused children tended to do worse in school. Duh!

Previous studies already showed that incorporating elements of nature into our lives improved mental performance, vitality, physical healing, and reduced stress. The present studies extend beyond that and demonstrate that nature "brings out more social feelings, more value for community and close relationships. People are more caring when they’re around nature."

In one study, participants were shown a computer screen with either city images or natural landscapes. In another study, participants were allowed to work in a room either with or without houseplants. In all of these cases, the people who were exposed to natural elements rated relationships and community as more important than they had prior to the beginning of the experiments. And people who were exposed to artificial elements were more likely to value selfish goals such as money and prestige.

Researchers say that the difference lies not in being surrounded by natural elements in our lives, but in actually paying attention to them.

So there you have it: Evidence that listening to Moodstreams soundtracks can actually make you a better person. So download away. Download away.

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