Evidence has been found that contact with nature may reduce rumination in healthy individuals living in urban environments. This paper “Nature can get it out of your mind the rumination reducing effects of contact with nature and the mediating role of awe and mood”, aims at testing whether one may replicate previous findings using a shorter duration of nature exposure. It also explores the possibility that a shift in attention away from self (notably induced by the emotion of awe), leading to mood restoration, may mediate such nature-rumination relationship.

The study showed that a walk as short as 30-min in an urban park significantly reduced ruminative thinking in healthy participants, whereas a 30-min walk along a city transect devoid from natural elements did not. Also, that the “walk in nature” significantly reduced negative mood and elicited more awe and more externally oriented thoughts than the “walk in city”.

The study adds to previous research supporting the so-called “psychological ecosystem services” and calls for additional efforts aimed at exploring the extent to, and mechanism(s), by which contact with nature may affect rumination, notably in clinical populations.