Nature-deficit disorder: What kids lose by not experiencing the outdoors enough

Research explains the positive impact and health benefits of children spending more time in nature.

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  • "Nature-deficit disorder" is the term coined by author Richard Louv, to help put a name to the ever-growing problems associated with children spending less time in nature.
  • Research has provided evidence that prove Richard Louv's theories on the importance of nature to the human body and mind. This research proves a link between time spent in nature and improvements in areas such as motivation, problem-solving and self-esteem.
  • There are many simple, actionable ways parents and educators of young children can incorporate nature back into the lives of children both in school and at home, such as starting outdoor playgroups or reintegrating nature into the school curriculum.
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Our bodies are chronically in "threat mode"—but being kind recalibrates our nervous system

Being kind to others positively impacts your physical and mental health, according to this groundbreaking research by Stanford professor Dr. James Doty.

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  • The default "rest mode" of our brains is often taken over by a "threat mode" setting because of our stressful, "on-the-go" lifestyles. When we are chronically in threat mode, this leaves us with less capacity for compassion.
  • Showing compassion or acting kind to others can actually change your physiology, taking you out of threat mode and putting you back into your natural "rest and digest" mode.
  • Research by a well-known Stanford professor Dr. James Doty has shown that acts of kindness or compassion that put us back into our "rest mode" can have lasting positive impacts on our physical and mental health.
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Are humans hardwired for monogamy?

Evolution steered humans toward pair bonding to ensure the survival of genes. But humans tend to get restless.

  • Monogamy is natural, but adultery is, too, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher.
  • Even though humans are animals that form pair bonds, some humans have a predisposition for restlessness. This might come from the evolutionary development of a dual human reproductive strategy.
  • This drive to fall in love and form a pair bond evolved for an ecological reason: to rear our children as a team.
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William Shatner: Empathy must be taught

What a group of orphaned elephants can teach us about emotion and learned social skills.

  • Empathy is defined as the act of recognizing, understanding, and being sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others.
  • Sharing a story about young elephants at a nature preserve, William Shatner argues that empathy is a learned skill, not an inherited trait.
  • "That has to be learned, and I don't think it's any different from a boy to a girl. You have to walk in the shoes to experience what the other person is experiencing."
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A New Year’s resolution to make a difference: Help others.

Charity and volunteering not only benefit the recipient but help you become happier and healthier in the new year.

  • Most New Year's resolutions are self-directed and enjoy a failure rate of about 80 percent.
  • Research has shown that selfless giving can enhance happiness, improve your health, and even extend your life.
  • Resolving to help others can help you keep your resolution this year.
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