This is Your Brain on Nature

WHEN YOU HEAD OUT to the desert, David Strayer is the kind of man you want behind the wheel. He never texts or talks on the phone while driving. He doesn’t even approve of eating in the car. A cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah who specializes in attention, Strayer knows our brains are prone to mistakes, especially when we’re multitasking and dodging distractions. Among other things, his research has shown that using a cell phone impairs most drivers as much as drinking alcohol does. Strayer is in a unique position to understand what modern life does to us. An avid backpacker, he thinks he knows the antidote: Nature. On the third day of a camping trip in the wild canyons near B

Seven Ways to Help Someone with Anxiety

When I first moved into my (now) spouse’s house in 2001, she didn’t want to include my name in our answering machine greeting. Because of our big age gap and same-sex relationship, she was justifiably anxious about how her parents would react to my having moved in; so she kept it from them for several months. Though I felt a great deal of compassion for her and her situation, I was also frustrated that her anxiety was affecting me—and I didn’t like acting as though we had something to be ashamed of. Scenarios like this are common when someone in your life is struggling with anxiety. Your loved one may feel so fearful that they avoid taking action, or act in ways that are inconsiderate or tha

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