The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative – Florence Williams
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative – An intrepid investigation into nature’s restorative benefits by a prize-winning author.
For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; and Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain.
In this informative and entertaining account, Williams investigates cutting-edge research as she travels to fragrant cypress forests in Korea to meet the rangers who administer “forest healing programs,” to the green hills of Scotland and its “ecotherapeutic” approach to caring for the mentally ill, to a river trip in Idaho with Iraqi vets suffering from PTSD, to the West Virginia mountains where she discovers how being outside helps children with ADHD. The Nature Fix demonstrates that our connection to nature is much more important to our cognition than we think and that even small amounts of exposure to the living world can improve our creativity and enhance our mood. In prose that is incisive, witty, and urgent, Williams shows how time in nature is not a luxury but is in fact essential to our humanity. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas—and the answers they yield—are more urgent than ever.
“[Williams] presents the benefits of spending time outdoors . . . entertainingly but with enough scientific detail to satisfy the expert.” – New York Times Book Review
“[A] lively exploration of what modern research has to say about the myriad health benefits of the great outdoors. . . Ms. Williams resists the tendency of so much nature writing towards easy epiphanies, adopting a tone that is, instead, pleasingly puckish. . . [She] puzzles out the pros and cons, concluding, on balance, that there’s a good case for connecting with nature to extend both the quantity and quality of life. . .” – Danny Heitman, Wall Street Journal
“Engaging.” – San Francisco Chronicle
“Williams’s findings are eminently reassuring.” – Atlantic
“[A] scientific tour de Mother Earth. . . . The Nature Fix offers a cross-continental rumination on nature’s feel-good effects in a world that’s increasingly concrete-centric.” – Portland Monthly
“[Williams] makes a compelling argument for time outdoors. She takes a refreshing approach, including ‘forest bathing’ (the Japanese custom of a sensory walk in the woods); ecotherapy in Scotland; and how nature can produce the same effects as mind-altering drugs. Thought-provoking and excellent.” – BBC Wildlife
“Chock-full of insights about the health benefits of spending time in nature. (It turns out that lying on the beach is good for you.)” – Rohan Silva, Guardian
“Williams is an elegant yet witty writer, and she makes a terrific guide.” – Success Magazine
“A veteran journalist, Williams flexes her conditioned reporting muscles. . . . Her fast-paced book takes readers across three continents as she trails all kinds of experts, from phycologists to foresters.” – Earth Island Journal
“A thoughtful, refreshing book with a simple but powerful message.” – Kirkus Reviews
Florence Williams is a journalist and contributing editor to Outside magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and National Geographic among others. Her first book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012 and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science and Technology. Williams lives in Washington, DC.
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