Okay, I’ll be upfront. I’m not able to make an impartial review from the book. Nature and going out weekly preferably daily means a lot to me, and I was ready to agree with all the research introduced in the book. Thankfully Florence Williams was critical on my behalf. She commented on the research’s weaknesses. That is rare to find in popular science books. Science is not worth anything if you can’t look the subject through a critical eye. That is why I recommend this book, and because what nature does to us.
Florence Williams wrote the book in a journal format where she moved from research, country, and her personal experience throughout the chapters. The whole book is an argument of what nature does to our mental and physical health. She traveled to study the research done from Korea to Finland to the USA to Singapore, and back home. I found the journal format nice for research and the personal experience around the studies done, but I couldn’t care less her description of what some student wore and what was written on that student’s buttocks. I would have liked to skip that extra stuff which bored me and read more and detailed recounts of the studies done about nature. The book was thin in that sense; it felt like forced prolonging. On those occasions, I would have rather been out, but that was impossible as I read the book the hour before I went to bed. And yes, I dreamed weird nature dreams. One about a bear.
I liked the book despite the boring bits. It strengthened my relationship with nature. It made me understand better what being out does to my brain and body. Nature influences our well-being. To most of us, being outside amongst the trees and wildlife has a positive effect. It recuperates us from stress and demands. 15-20% of us don’t recuperate in nature. Their heart rate and stress levels won’t drop, and with some, they might increase. But to most of us, five hours a month being out in nature is the minimum amount which will impact our happiness and perceived well-being. All this makes sense. Not long ago nature was an important part of our lives, and we and our sensory system kind of evolved along with it. So, it is no wonder that watching nature pictures relaxes us, and being in nature does even more.
My realization of how important nature is, how I have to go out weekly to be amongst the trees is relatively new. My good friend sparkled this passion, and I am thankful for her. Nowadays I could spend every waking hour there, but there are also my other passions, and they are writing and books. So there has to be a balance. Luckily nature supports my creativity, and I can testify that I’m most creative after an early morning hike. (There is a section in the book about nature and creativity.) I’ll conclude even if you don’t read this book go out, be happy, and mind the bugs.
Thank you for reading!