Nature and Neuroscience
These days we hear a lot about how certain behaviors and lifestyle choices affect our brains. Neuroscience is making tremendous discoveries and advancements that are leading the way toward better brains and happier lives. Yet in most cases the data aren’t yet proof enough to make solid claims that any specific behavior change will definitely change any one individual's mental health in a specific way.
This neuroscience section of the website is set up to provide you with accurate, up-to-date scientific information. It’s our hope that this will help you decide for yourself whether the experimental results on nature and its effects on the human brain are strong enough for you to incorporate more of nature into your lifestyle.
The big picture view is that humans have entered a new era ushered in by neuroscience – a turning point in human evolution really – in which we are aware that we can change our brains through our own efforts. When it comes to mental well-being, from here on out humans will become the kind of creatures we choose to be.
We can, of course, decide to do nothing about our mental outlook – that’s a choice. OR we may choose to adjust our behaviors and lifestyles to improve our brains and our mental outlook simply because we want greater happiness. This choice can’t be made for any individual. Real brain change takes personal effort. Yet progress may gather strength with each person who decides to harness the power of their own brain to feel better.
Increasingly convincing data suggest an influence of nature - and nature media - on mental health. Yet these data are largely based on correlation and, as always in science, correlation is not causation. However, since science is finding strong indications of connections between nature and the brain, we feel it’s important to help get the word out that nature exposure has the possibility of contributing to relief from human suffering.
We are careful around here to use words like “may,” “appears to,” "suggest," and “indicate” rather than “is,” “will,” and “cause.” This use of suggestive language is obviously a bit wordy and definitely not ideal for making sales! But until actual proof does emerge – and this will likely require advancements in neuroscience technology – accuracy, and therefore suggestive and not definitive language, is paramount in assisting people as they make personal choices.
In this neuroscience section of the website we’ll outline the existing data behind the exercises that we’re offering. That way you can decide for yourself whether the science is strong enough for you to make the effort to change your lifestyle and adopt new habits in support of your own mental well-being.