One of the greatest benefits of living in Oakland is ready access to parks, woods, the Ramapo River, and the feeling of freedom that comes with an abundance of open space.
Recent research has confirmed what many have already known, that exposure to nature and “green settings” can improve ones sense of well being and emotional health. A walk in the woods, along the beach, in Great Oak Park or simply walking along the walking path surrounding the Oakland Rec Fields can help in one’s mental health optimization.
The LA Times reported on how hiking can improve one’s mental health and registered reductions in self-reported rumination – negative feedback a person gives themselves. ( http://www.mindfulness-extended.nl/content3/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/RRQ-Rumination-Reflection-Questionnaire1.pdf)
The impact of “green settings” and “green activities” on children with ADHD has also been studied, and the results indicate that engaging in green activities can lessen the symptoms of ADHD; simply being exposed to greener settings can have a positive impact – viewing nature, sitting outdoors in a green setting, sitting near a window with a view. The study found that it also improves those hit by “attention fatigue”, which differs from ADHD in that it is a temporary condition. The study published on National Center for Biotechnology Information website can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448497/