7 Reasons to Go Outside (According to Science)

A collection of the best articles on mindfulness and nature—along with the science behind how nature boost happiness—in honor of Earth Day.

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It doesn’t take a neuroscientist hooking people up to brain scanners to know that we benefit from being outdoors (neuroscientists are measuring how green spaces help us refresh, too). But do we incur some sort of deficit from missing our walk home from work or by bingeing on Netflix? What can a hike teach us about meditation? And what does a beautiful mountain vista have to do with the latest science on happiness? Below, we’ve listed our favorite stories on mindfulness and nature, along with some of the latest scientific findings.

Illustration by Tomi Um

The Green Path

In her book, Mindfully Green, Stephanie Kaza argues that environmentalism must be about more than the personal actions we take or the public policies we support. To be truly transformative, it must change the way we see ourselves, our world, and the relationship between the two.


Do We Really Need Nature?

Too little green in your life? You’re not alone. But can science prove that you’re hardwired to crave nature?



4 Ways to Mindfully Appreciate Nature

Trail-bound or office-bound, here’s a few ways to mindfully celebrate the nature around us.



Four Practices for Inspiring Awe

Research-based practices for cultivating awe from the GGSC website Greater Good in Action.



large tree next to a forest path

How Nature Boosts Kindness, Happiness, and Creativity

We are spending more time indoors and online. But recent studies suggest that nature can help our brains and bodies to stay healthy.


Awake in the Wild

Whether we’re in a pristine rainforest or our own backyard, nature is always available to deepen our mindfulness. Here are Mark Coleman’s wilderness tips.


Birds Do It. Bats Do It.

New research shows how cooperation prevails across the animal kingdom. What can humans learn from other species?