If you spend time camping, hiking, or strolling along a shoreline, you probably know it intuitively: being in nature feels good. A growing body of research has affirmed nature’s potential stress-relieving benefits, including a new study on city dwellers. That’s right, while deep wilderness and untouched beaches are teeming with good vibes, city gardens, urban parks, and even tree-lined streets have them, too. In the study, city dwellers who spent 20 to 30 minutes in a place that made them feel close to nature at least three times a week had significant drops in levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Along with practices like yoga and meditation, regular doses of nature may help to counteract the harmful effects of stress. Monte Sano State Park is is practically in our back yards! If you've not been there in a while, you owe it to yourself to visit. I go there at least once a week to either hike, jog or ride my bike. I always feel great afterwards.