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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Effect And Cause

Watching Birds, Trees near Your Home is Good for Mental Health, Study Shows
According to a study led by University of Exeter researcher Daniel Cox, people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.
Feb 27, 2017 by News Staff / Source
Dr. Cox and his colleagues from the University of Maryland, the University of Queensland in Australia, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Exeter in the UK, surveyed mental health in 263 people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities...

They found benefits for mental health of being able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home, whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighborhoods. They also found that those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.

“Experiences of nature provide many mental-health benefits, particularly for people living in urban areas. The natural characteristics of city residents’ neighborhoods are likely to be crucial determinants of the daily nature dose that they receive,” the scientists said...

 Think of this and think of the use of pets for the elderly, for the lonely, for the sick. There is a lot of testimony that shows pets and animals and trees - and stopping to smell the roses - is good for mental health.

I think it is important to keep in mind that we are not necessarily talking about a situation where a health problem precedes a "nature cure"; i.e., immersion in nature, taking a pet, looking at woodland creatures, etc.

I believe that it is a lack of meaningful and intimate relationship with other animals which is a major causation of depression.
And not merely animals, but with Nature itself: the mountains, the prairies, the rivers, and the sea. If we do not have some sort of functioning "I-and-Thou" relationship with people, with animals, and with the world as a whole, we are pointless beings and we drift into sickness.

This is what this report is saying. However, we usually think of Nature as a curative for mental problems, but a remoteness from Nature is also the cause of mental problems, and those problems naturally respond to a course of Nature.
This is part of what Heidegger is trying to tell us.


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