Free TLC from Mother Nature
You know that feeling when you go for a walk surrounded by grasses waving in the breeze or sunlight dancing through each leaf on a tree, and your shoulders relax, you release the jaw you didn’t realize you were clenching, you slow your step, and the long to-do list fades away? We are, each of us, Nurtured by Nature.
This year’s annual luncheon centered on the theme of how nature cares for our human health. The keynote speaker, Jay Maddock PhD, FAAHB, shared that a mega-dose of nature will activate our cancer-fighting, NK cells, and that effect will last for weeks, even months. Doses of nature improve our mood and mental health, our problem-solving skills, and our concentration (Herzog et al. 1997). “High residential exposure to green spaces is associated with an 8% lower risk of all-cause mortality” (Gascon et al. 2016).
We need our daily doses of nature, and regular mega-doses, when we immerse ourselves for a longer period of time, to absorb as much of the healing power of nature as we can. Over half of American adults report spending 5 hours or fewer outside in nature each week. Being in nature will reduce stress, aggression, and ADHD symptoms. It will lower blood pressure, reduce obesity and diabetes, and improve eyesight (Frumkin et. al, 2017)!
One of the most powerful vignettes Dr. Maddock shared was a research study in which patients who could observe nature through the window, or even on a TV screen, had a reduced hospital stay. Our connection with nature is powerful. We don’t necessarily need all this research to know that we are nurtured by nature. We can feel it. And yet, most of us could use a prescription to remind us to get our daily and mega doses. Come be nurtured by nature at the Garden. It’s an easy prescription to fill.
Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel
Read the November 2022 e-newsletter for more, including why leaves change color in the fall; horticulture help for fall and winter planting; details on the new Budburst community science initiative; a grant-sponsored refugee training program; a new installation at Hobby Airport featuring art inspired by visits to the Garden.