Walking in the woods helps fight negative thoughts: there is a new study to prove it, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, conducted at Stanford University by researcher Gregory Bratman.
The study (which you can read here) involved 38 subjects living in urban areas. They were subjected to a questionnaire designed to measure the trend in the formulation of negative thoughts and to brain scans on subgenual prefrontal cortex, particularly active while formulating negative thoughts. Then they were divided into two groups: one group walked for 90 minutes in a park near Standford, while the other walked long a busy street in Palo Alto.
What was the result?
Who walked in contact with nature has shown a decrease in the formulation of negative thoughts and positive change mood. When we find ourselves immersed in nature, among the trees and greenery, our heart rate slows, the pressure is lowered and the mood improves quickly.
So, if the urbanization brings with it many benefits, it also has its downsides. Never more than today man lives far from nature: about 50% of the world population lives in cities, and forecasts say that in 2050 we will reach the 70% threshold. Urbanization is often associated with higher levels of mental illness, such as anxiety disorders and depression. It therefore seems that there is a connection between the experience of nature and mental health.
Top 5 ideas to experience Nature and walk in the woods, in Italy
It is often difficult to live in daily contact with nature and so it becomes more and more important to live this experience and find that wellness at least on vacation.
Here are 5 ideas for a weekend of relaxation and walks surrounded by nature in Italy:
1. B&B Il richiamo del bosco, Emilia Romagna
A whole forest awaits you here, surrounded by the silence of the Regional Park of Carrega Woods. A house built in harmony with nature and 110 hectares trees and meadows to rediscover the pleasure of walking in the woods
2. La casina nel bosco, Tuscany
A house surrounded by tranquil woodland of chestnut trees, nearAzzano di Seravezza and 15km from the sea of Versilia in Tuscany.
3. Casa Natura Villa Santi, Trentino
In the heart of the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, waiting for you an eco-friendly house surrounded by greenery. You will discover the life of the woods, listening to the roar of the deer.
4. Baglio Case Colomba, Sicily
Bicycles at your disposal, a huge Arabic-style garden and around a pristine nature where hiking. We are in Sicily, in the Trapani countryside.
5. Tree Village, Friuli
An unique and unusual tourist village in the green of Friuliane Dolomites Park, to discover in a new way the nature, sleeping in small houses on the trees.
6. Fattoria Ma’ Falda, Umbria
A retreat in the heart of the Mount Peglia natural oasis and the Tiber River Park, to immerse yourself in nature just a few steps from the beautiful villages of Umbria.
7. Il Bosco delle Api, Piedmont
Reconnect with nature in an eco-friendly bed & breakfast in the countryside, where you’ll find abundant breakfasts made with organic ingredients, apple juice, fruit, bread and homemade jams, honey and cakes.
8. Villa NannaDodo, Lombardy
Find your sunny home with a huge flower garden in the hills of the wonderful Lake Garda, for a relaxing holiday immersed in the scent of olive trees.
9. Borgo Riccio SlowHoliday in Cilento, Sicily
In the village of Torchiara there is a beautiful historic residence, surrounded by olive trees and Mediterranean bush, for an holiday between the sea of Amalfi and Gebilson or Alburni mountains.
10. B&B Agriturismo Podere di Maggio, Tuscany
Escape in nature between Mount Amiata and the pristine valley of Fiora River, in a charming and eco-friendly B&B, close to the free hot springs of Saturnia.