My focus is helping people enter nature, because my experience tells me it is beneficial.
For years, nature-walking has been outside the range of scientific study. The measuring devices for testing heart rate and brain waves, for example, were too cumbersome. Now that this is changing, scientists are making breakthroughs. What does the research show?
Physiologically, it's been proven that human vision, memory, balance, digestion, circulation, brain function and heart rate all benefit from time spent outdoors. And what's especially fascinating is that deep wilderness experiences are not the only way to tap nature's powers. A plant on your desk has impact, as does even looking at a postcard of nature!
I'm also fascinated by the spiritual benefits of moving in nature. These are, of course, harder for scientists to document, yet impossible to deny. For one thing, an astounding number of humanity's greatest spiritual leaders have been people who walked in nature. And if your spirit is fulfilled most through achievement in business or politics, there are a long list of leaders who treat nature-walking as their secret success formula. Inventors of all kinds have come upon an idea or discovery while nature distracted their senses. But what's the connection, and how does it work?
Emotional benefits may be even more profound. The correlation between information technology and depression, alienation and loneliness is increasingly evident. Nature-time, by contrast, creates exactly the opposite feelings. People who walk in nature tend to feel uplifted, positive and hopeful. In a world with so much loneliness, nature-walkers feel connected, not only to other people, but to life itself.