November 11, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Take a Breather

For health and well-being, breathe the fresh air of the great outdoors.

Go Outside and Play

An article on Medical Xpress shares “yet another reason to tell your kids to go outside and play.” Too much screen use, a study concludes, hurts their health and hinders their sleep. Even virtual reality headsets, which presumably reproduce the 3-D world, still rely on screens. They just trick your brain into thinking there’s a 3-D world out there. It’s not the same as real reality.

So far, some reported short-term effects include nausea, eye strain and even after images, and no one is really sure about the long-term impacts, especially on kids whose brains are still developing.

The advice to go outside and play is good for adults, too. Many grown-ups spend too much time at screens. You can enjoy a photograph on a screen, but there’s no substitute for the real world.

Smell the Roses

Want some life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Another article for Medical Xpress says, “Science confirms you should stop and smell the roses.” In this article, Patty Wellborn mentions research from the University of British Columbia that suggests, “there’s truth to the idea that spending time outdoors is a direct line to happiness.

Research at UBC by Holli-Anne Passmore asked thousands of participants to record their feelings when observing natural objects compared to man-made objects.

There is scientific documentation that people who live in greenspaces generally seem to be happier, and may live longer than those who don’t. Passmore is taking that research further. This study is one of a series by a research team in UBC Okanagan’s psychology department known as the “Happy Team” which is providing evidence that nature can increase happiness.

“The difference in participants’ well-being—their happiness, sense of elevation, and their level of connectedness to other people, not just nature—was significantly higher than participants in the group noticing how human-built objects made them feel and the control group.”

The article opens with this thought: “Is it any wonder that most happiness idioms are associated with nature? Happy as a pig in muck, happy as a clam, happy camper.”

In the years we have reported about the benefits of outdoor experience, we have yet to see a negative psychological result. The evidence is consistent: walking through the woods, sitting in a park with fresh air, experiencing a sunset or watching a storm – these kinds of connections to the environment are good for you physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Make a point to get some exposure to the beauty of God’s world each day. Even if you work downtown surrounded by skyscrapers, try to notice the occasional plant or bird. Let your eyes focus on some distant hills or trees. And plan your vacations to include natural beauty.

Fairly soon, Master Plan Association that sponsors Creation-Evolution Headlines should have an upgraded website for Creation Safaris, a place  for anyone who wants to participate in outdoor expeditions, or lead them, or teach at them. We’ll announce when it is ready.

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