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 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.