A new study in PNAS by Bratman et al. (2015) suggests a possible mechanism to explain the link between urban living and increased levels of depression and other mental illnesses. Taking a walk through a natural setting apparently decreases rumination – i.e. “a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought…” They go on to describe rumination as a “…focus on the causes and consequences of emotions — most often, negative, self-relational emotions.” Crap – I do that all the time!
What’s the correlation between self-referential blogging and mental illness?
Image: Figure 1B from Bratman et al. (2015) PNAS.