Managing Your Mental Health

Living in a city has many benefits, but urbanization is also associated with increased levels of mental illness. While the reason behind this link is not yet known, one possible cause under investigation could be that lack of access to nature in an urban environment causes an increase in negative thoughts. Researchers at Stanford University conducted a controlled study, in which participants were asked to experience a 90-minute walk in a natural setting. Participants reported decreased negative thoughts and decreased activity was detected in the area of the brain linked to mental illness, whereas a 90-minute walk in an urban environment had no similar effects.