Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies. The business of everyday life — dodging traffic, making decisions and judgment calls, interacting with strangers — is depleting, and what man-made environments take away from us, nature gives back. There’s something mystical and, you might say, unscientific about this claim, but its heart actually rests in what psychologists call attention restoration theory, or ART.
This is why I love Berkeley’s campus. Everywhere you go there are trees and fields of grass and animals going about their business. I think I’m going to do more of my reading outside from now on.