The idea that getting out to the country is good for our health is as old as medicine itself. Modern science seems to bear out the idea, with a host of studies demonstrating the therapeutic effects of exposure to nature. Japanese scientists have demonstrated that long walks in the woods produce lower levels of cortisol—a hormone linked to stress—and reduce blood pressure. As to why nature makes us feel better, the verdict is still out. In 1984, biologist E.O. Wilson proposed the “biophilia” theory, which suggests that we evolved to prefer the sight of resource-rich environments—the blue of clean water, the green of fertile fields and forests—and that this has led to a salutary neural response. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 42 Anna Wiener Anna Wiener was on the path to Silicon Valley success. Then she pivoted. Allyssia Alleyne charts the making of a tech-skeptic. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Influencers Anonymous Instagram content creators answer a short survey about the influencer industry. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Crazy Busy There’s no rest for the aspirational. Arts & Culture Issue 42 The Goal Keepers Not your therapist, not your friend: What accounts for the remarkable rise of the life coach? Arts & Culture Issue 42 Torrey Peters The Detransition, Baby author is living her best life. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Trash Talk On wish-cycling and wishful thinking.