The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
by Florence Williams
Published in 2017 by W.W. Norton & Company, 304 pages
The history of human life on Earth is replete with stories of people who have turned to nature to rest, refresh and restore balance in their lives. Think Aristotle, Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt, Darwin, John Muir and Walt Whitman who all valued the natural world. Award-winning author Florence Williams invites you to put aside your electronic devices and step away from your cozy indoor spaces to discover, rediscover or simply reconnect with the big beautiful outdoors on a regular basis. Intrigued by the growing popularity of being in natural outdoor spaces and participating in outdoor recreational activities, Williams set out to research the science behind the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of getting up close and personal with Mother Nature.
This isn’t simply an American phenomenon: the Finns know it as metsänpeitto (covered by the forest), the Japanese call it shinrin yoku (forest bathing), the Korean term is salim yok and the Scots have official government-sponsored ecotherapy programs. Williams describes a globally wide range of private and public programs, policies and outreach activities and explains how they are helping children to cope with ADHD, military veterans to manage their PTSD and otherwise healthy people to learn (or remember) how to relax and de-stress. She explains new developments in brain research that reveal how being in nature helps you unloose your “executive brain” to set it free from the daily grind of stifled thinking by reorienting your neural networks. Her underlying message to you is that you should treat spending time in nature as you would doing any routine activity: Be sure to make time for the outdoors on a daily (a quick walk around your neighborhood), weekly (an hour in a greenway area), monthly (a weekend getaway to your favorite fishing hole) and annual basis.
Joining us at the Firefly Gathering would likely top Williams’s list of great ways to reconnect at least once a year with your true natural self.