Spending time out in nature is good for the soul. There’s nothing like the sun on your face, the leaves crunching beneath your feet and the air so fresh you can taste it. Turns out, being out in nature isn’t just fun, it’s fundamental to a kind society. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found scientific proof that spending time in nature makes people more trusting, generous and selfless.

Researchers employed a number of methods to come to this conclusion, including asking participants to fill out a happiness survey. One group sat surrounded by beautiful plants, while the other group sat in a plainer environment. After completing the survey, both groups thought the experiment was over. They were then offered the chance to stick around and make paper cranes for a relief effort in Japan. Those surrounded by greenery made more cranes than those that were not.

Another study included asking participants questions about trust and generosity while showing them a variety of pictures. Participants were more inclined to share feelings of generosity and trust when looking at the ‘more beautiful’ nature scenes.

So the next time you need to talk through a disagreement or just clear your head, go outside! Nature is calling and she’s a beautiful thing.

Photo: Chad Madden from Unsplash

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