When you listen to bird song, smell pine needles or watch tree branches swaying in the wind, what is happening in your brain? For that matter, what is happening in your body? Does your level of stress drop when you are out in nature?

The Nature Fix:

When writer Florence Williams moved from Boulder, Colorado, to Washington, DC, she discovered unexpectedly how much her sense of well-being depended on being outside where she could see mountains every day. Getting into natural environments in the city was much more of a challenge. But even urban dwellers get measurable benefits like lower blood pressure when they can walk in a park.

How Does It Work?

How do humans respond to nature? Why are we wired that way? Williams spoke with neuroscientists and forest rangers from Japan and Korea to Utah to find out about the emerging science of immersion in nature. The more we pay attention to our electronic screens, it seems, the more we need to take in sky and horizons, running water or blowing breezes. Find out if you should go for a walk after listening to the show or perhaps plan a camping trip soon.

This Week’s Guest:

Florence Williams is a journalist and contributing editor to Outside magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic and elsewhere.

Her books include Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History and her most recent, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. She hosts a podcast for Audible, Breasts Unbound. Her website is www.florencewilliams.com The photo of Florence William was taken by Sue Barr.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD or choose the mp3 

Air Date:June 10, 2017

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  1. Sallie
    Cary, NC
    Reply

    I am so glad I live in a neighborhood where there’s no homeowners’ association or community restriction to prevent me from hanging out laundry on a clothesline. It gives me some time to to enjoy the trees and often light breeze, the sunshine, the birds chattering and singing, eating seeds at the feeders, watching cavorting squirrels, etc. Then, I get the additional benefit of the wonderful fresh fragrance in the clothes, that just can’t be duplicated in a dryer!

    • Sara
      FAYETTEVILLE, NC
      Reply

      You are so right! I need to get a clothesline. We have many squirrels, bird feeders, and at night, raccoons and possums, Even had a fox walk outside our fence to cross the dead end and go into the woods. Yes, it is a breath of fresh air!

      • Sara
        Reply

        Oh, yes. I forgot about the owls. There are many who talk to each other, and sometimes I woo back at them. I also mimic birds and can just hear them pausing wondering where on earth is that bird! I thank the Lord for my wonderful, no traffic dead end and cul-de-sac (very short end of the street) all wooded place.

  2. Dirk
    Reply

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  3. Kathy G
    NC
    Reply

    I live in the country side where the sounds of nature are all around me through out the day and night…sitting on my screened porch is so very peaceful I can lose myself in the songs of birds, chirping Crickets, sound of Owls and Woop O’ Wills as my Dad always called these little birds that always sing late in the afternoons , Foxes barking like puppies in the distance, Frogs croaking, these are just a few of Natures wonderful sounds that make my Soul feel at peace and relaxed in a fast paced world …for this I am Thankful !

  4. Marie
    Reply

    It’s easy to get rhapsodic about being out in nature. It makes you forget all about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, an infection caused by ticks that can lead to serious damage to kidneys and heart and can even lead to death. Despite its name, it occurs throughout the United States.

  5. Anthony Newcomb
    Erie Pennsylvania USA
    Reply

    My family have always been active in outdoors gardening and lifestyle. They are from European decent and believe in nature for its overall healing

  6. Mary Jane
    NYC
    Reply

    I’m glad this perspective is coming to the fore, but I don’t need a neuroscientist to tell me what is obvious to any fool.

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