NPR

Greener Childhood Associated With Happier Adulthood

Research suggests the more of your childhood that is spent surrounded by green spaces, the lower your risk of developing mental illness in adulthood, whether in the city or the country.
A child takes in the sights under blooming Japanese cherry trees at the Bispebjerg Cemetery in Copenhagen, Denmark. Source: Mads Claus Rasmussen

The experience of natural spaces, brimming with greenish light, the smells of soil and the quiet fluttering of leaves in the breeze can calm our frenetic modern lives. It's as though our very cells can exhale when surrounded by nature, relaxing our bodies and minds.

Some people seek to maximize the purported therapeutic effects of contact with the unbuilt environment by embarking on sessions of forest bathing, slowing down and becoming mindfully immersed in nature.

But in a rapidly urbanizing world, green spaces are shrinking as our cities grow out and up. Scientists are working to understand how green spaces, or lack of them, can

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