Take Two Hikes and Call Me in the Morning – Facts So Romantic


bikeriderlondon via shutterstock

One hundred sixty years ago, Henry David Thoreau published his magnum opus, Walden. In it he detailed his time spent living alongside nature in a cabin adjacent to Walden Pond. In one of the book’s emblematic lines, Thoreau wrote, “We can never have enough of nature.” He believed that it was a “tonic” for us.

Fewer people experience Thoreau’s tonic these days. Many people have little connection to or experience in nature; many spend more time with iPads than in parks. Journalist Richard Louv coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” to describe this phenomenon in his book Last Child in the Woods.

Nature deficit disorder is not an actual mental disorder or illness. Louv chose the name to draw attention to the lack of a connection with nature he observed in young people. But the central argument, that time spent in nature is beneficial to our health and wellbeing, has merit. Decades of research shows that time spent in natural surroundings reduces stress, improves recovery in hospital patients, and puts us in better moods. Many studies also report that study participants say that they simply enjoy nature. 

“The research is pretty clear,” says Andrea…
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