Teach Me About the Great Lakes

More COVID! In past episodes, we've spoken about how to go outside in a way that's safe and responsible. But we haven't spoken about *why* to do it. In this episode, Dr. Ming Kuo discusses the many psychological challenges of social isolation and how nature can help to overcome them.

Show Notes

For a rough transcript of this episode, please visit https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jscarlton/teachgreatlakes/master/episode-9/TMATGL%20-%209.txt.

Our guest today is Dr. Ming Kuo of the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Show links:
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences :: College of ACES, University of Illinois
Vitamin N | Ming Kuo | TEDxDirigo
Ming Kuo’s interview on NPR’s Hidden Brain
I’m trying to think, but nothing happens - YouTube
Fight-or-flight response - Wikipedia
Freezing behavior - Wikipedia
Japan House | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
TMATGL #5, featuring epidemiologist Dr. Ron Hershow
TMATGL #6, featuring ER physician Dr. Frank Zadravecz
Mindfulness: An Introduction
Mindfull or Mindful?
Landscape and Human Health Laboratory, University of Illinois
Common Ground Coop, Urbana

Creators & Guests

Stuart Carlton
Stuart Carlton is the Assistant Director of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program. He manages the day-to-day operation of IISG and works with the IISG Director and staff to coordinate all aspects of the program. He is also a Research Assistant Professor and head of the Coastal and Great Lakes Social Science Lab in the Department of Forestry & Natural Resources at Purdue, where he and his students research the relationship between knowledge, values, trust, and behavior in complex or controversial environmental systems.

What is Teach Me About the Great Lakes?

A monthly podcast in which Stuart Carlton (a native New Orleanian) asks smart people to teach him about the Great Lakes. Co-hosted by the awesome staff at Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

Disclaimer: This is an automated transcript, we apologize for any errors. If you notice any problems, please email the show at teachmeaboutthegreatlakes@gmail.com. Thank you.

Stuart Carlton 0:00
teach me about the Great Lakes. Teach me about the Great Lakes. Welcome back to teach me about the Great Lakes a podcast in which I get someone who is smarter and harder working than I am to teach me about the Great Lakes. My name is Stuart Carlton I'm assistant director with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, and I am joined this week by Rini miles. Hey, Randy, how are you?

Rini Miles 0:23
I'm pretty good. How are you?

Stuart Carlton 0:24
I am also good, good ish.

Rini Miles 0:29
And I just wanted to throw out my bad joke is that I'm a longtime listener. First time co host. There we

Stuart Carlton 0:35
go. longtime listener first time co hosts but always with us in spirit. greeny miles. Yeah. And I'm doing okay. rainy. It's starting to get to me. I'll be honest, we're in I don't even know what week I think week 724 of the lockdown. And yeah,

Rini Miles 0:53
just I know just yet, even for introverts, it takes its toll.

Stuart Carlton 0:58
I never knew how extroverted I was. And so we've talked on past episodes, as you know, is a longtime listener, first time co hosts, we've talked with a couple of experts on, you know, sort of the safety of going outside, is it safe to do is it socially responsible to do and how to do in a way that is safe and socially responsible? But But I think there's more to the story of why we might want to do it, you know, because I think everybody's feeling stir crazy. Everybody's feeling cooped up. And so I wanted to talk about that in detail. Unfortunately, you have a friend, you know, somebody who is an expert in this?

Rini Miles 1:35
I do. Yes, yeah. An old friend, an old

Stuart Carlton 1:38
friend. I mean, she's not old, but she's been your friend for a long time. Anyway, and so we're excited to have our guests. Our guest today is Dr. Minco. She's the head of the landscape and human health lab, where she studies on the connection between natural faeces features, natural feces, that's a different lab, natural features, and human and physical and mental health. And so let's kick on the interstitial music. And then we will bring in our guest.

Minko, thank you so much for joining us on teach me about the Great Lakes. How are you today?

Dr. Ming Kuo 2:13
I'm good. Thank you for having me on.

Stuart Carlton 2:14
Oh, we're thrilled. So I'm really interested in the work that you do. But let's start really big picture. So you research the connection between people and nature and how that helps people be physically and mentally more healthy? How did you how did you get into that kind of a field? What made you want to study that?

Dr. Ming Kuo 2:31
Well, I'm the kind of funny thing here is that I'm not I wasn't a nature lover, who was sort of determined to show how good natures, I was interested in the dark side of the physical environment, how crowded or noisy or difficult settings, challenging settings made us debilitated us or affected our emotionals. And I actually study the inner city Chicago for a while with the with the secret aim of studying all the evil things. And but I got the money from the forest service. And sure enough, it turned out to my complete surprise or not, not complete, but very large surprise that the amount of greenery around Chicago public housing, apartment buildings really made kind of huge differences in many different ways. So I've just been kind of following that up my whole career.

Stuart Carlton 3:27
No, Kevin's like what kind of what what do you so you were you were studying in the inner city? And you sort of did some sort of measurements of like, how much green space there was? I don't know, you kind of trees or parks or something? And what kind of differences Did you find there?

Dr. Ming Kuo 3:41
Oh, gosh, oh, there's a whole range. So I guess there's a whole series of effects I would talk about I would describe as individual functioning. And then there's also Neighborhood Health and functioning. So on the individual level, people were coping better, they were dealing with big challenges and decisions in their lives in a more effective way. They were they had better impulse control, they had better cognitive functioning, so they were able to concentrate better. They were getting along with their neighbors, which kind of leads into this sort of neighborhood level effects we're seeing, or we saw people getting along better, less aggression, less violence, but both by residents sort of own reporting of what they did, and also crime statistics. So So we saw sort of healthier, safer, stronger neighborhoods. Wherever we had more, more greenery. And because it's public housing, everyone is everyone is poor and people are randomly assigned to different buildings.

Stuart Carlton 4:49
All right. So it actually was a really good study system than right because you had sort of natural controls, I guess. Exactly.

Dr. Ming Kuo 4:55
Yeah. For a scientist, Chicago public housing is kind have made to order.

Stuart Carlton 5:02
Maybe only first. That's still that's that's, that's really fascinating. So you're saying that just the presence of Grenier when you control for other things, or green space, just made a really wide ranging difference in terms of individual and neighborhood level outcomes. Yeah. That's fascinating remember itself. And

Rini Miles 5:21
main, can you talk about, more generally what you found since then, in terms of the benefits of being in a natural environment for people?

Dr. Ming Kuo 5:32
Ah, I think two of the main themes have been academic achievement is, well, three, sorry. Sure, if I keep thinking about it, I'll come up with more academic achievement, we seem to be we have very consistent patterns of greener schools having higher academic achievement even after you take into account poverty and other kinds of things race bilingual status. And furthermore, those schools that get greened show a bump in academic achievement shortly thereafter, and then that bump sort of continues each year after the after the greeting happens. So we've got academic achievement, we've got attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, symptoms seem to be systematically reduced after kids have had a little bit of green time. And that's not just true for the hyperactive ones, who probably notice, there, they're going to have a reduction in ADHD symptoms just because they got to be physically active. But your attention deficit kids who don't have hyperactivity, they show the same, same benefits. I'm starting to look at physical health outcomes.

Stuart Carlton 6:53
Even with kids, I've been thinking about that a lot. Because I've got three now I have three kids at home. And we've been cooped up with with, you know, the social distancing stuff. And on the days and the weather, it's been crap. Like, you know, it's the Midwest, whether it's crap this time of year, but it's getting better. And on the days where we can go outside, I think I see that difference and part of its energy, but we have, we have a basement where they can run around and stuff. And I think I think I can see that nature exposure making a difference, like even on that short timescale. does. Does that pass the sniff test for you? I guess, can it be like on that sort of a timescale? Or is it more because of a repeated exposure over time?

Dr. Ming Kuo 7:30
Oh, no, actually, or, yeah. It does pass the sniff test. And kind of that's one of the great things about studying the effects of nature on people is it turns out to be hugely powerful and fast. And so, you know, for a scientist, it's really nice when you run studies, and they keep coming up the way you expect. So even when you give people little tiny doses of nature, so five minutes of playing with soil will substantially reduce or change your serotonin, or the smell of roses for five minutes or the smell of other fighting sides. The fighting sides are these are the sets that give off that are given off by various like pine and lavender, there's, you know, we can actually watch your physiology we spritz you with mindset. And while I watch your heart rate decrease, and just all your indicators look better. Holy mackerel.

Rini Miles 8:39
So maybe can you talk a little bit about us being in this COVID crisis and what some, some benefits might be related to what's going on with us?

Dr. Ming Kuo 8:53
Yeah, I'm really glad to talk about that, because I've been thinking about the effects of, I'm caught I'm going to call it crisis virus crisis syndrome,

Stuart Carlton 9:02
virus crisis syndrome,

Dr. Ming Kuo 9:05
VC s, I guess, VCs virus crisis syndrome are the effects of being in the crisis not the effects of the crisis, sorry, the virus itself. So just sort of living through this pandemic, even aside from even if you're completely well, right. So there are a whole bunch of effects and any given listener may experience some or some or none of them but some things that you may be experiencing are first of all, just the kind of mental fog or, or what I call the curly symptom. If you remember the Three Stooges currently would sometimes say I'm I'm trying to think and nothing happens unless are finding that that's, that's almost become a way of life. You know, we're having trouble making decisions. We can't solve problems the way we normally can. We can't do mental work the way we are It's harder, or we can just only do it for a little while before we have to take a break, or we just our mind just kind of wanders off into some other topic.

Rini Miles 10:09
You've been watching me.

Dr. Ming Kuo 10:13
This is just self report here. Another cognitive effect. That that's likely is what I call the hamster wheel of rumination is when, when you're right, when your brain gets hold of some worry, like, Oh, am I gonna lose my job? Or Oh my, my mom's in a nursing home? And is she gonna be abandoned? Or, you know, God knows what terrible scenarios we can come up with. And we just the brain just like hangs on to them and chews on them and runs on the hamster wheel thinking the same thing over and over, which is really miserable and not really very productive, right? It doesn't. If all you do is worry, the same thing. You're not actually you're not doing anything to improve the situation. You're just sort of marinating in that terrible state.

Stuart Carlton 10:59
Yeah, I boy that one hits home. Like lately, since this whole thing started. I've slept past 331 time, I think. And it's just that same thing. It's and I'm even I'm so unbelievably lucky, I have a steady job, at least for now. You know, and I we live in an inexpensive place to live. We're all healthy, at least for now. But But it's like, just you wake up. And it's the same thoughts over and over and over in your brain. It's and compounds itself, frankly, it's horrible. Yeah, the hamster wheel of rumination is is my Bane.

Dr. Ming Kuo 11:33
And then, on the emotional side, we may be feeling just sort of a general consistent tension as we're walking around, or we may feel really sad, or we may be you may be becoming crabby McCr. Emerson, where the slightest thing kind of sets off sets us off, or we, we snack when people do things that would normally you know, we would just like ride them out. But but now we're like, we lose a certain amount of emotional resilience when we're under kind of chronic levels of threatened uncertainty. And that's another thing that nature has the potential to affect. And if I can go on on something that I've actually seen on my Facebook feed is stress eating, this is a known phenomenon. If you put if you put biological organisms under chronic stress, they will not only will they eat more, they will eat in a different pattern, they seek out high calorie foods, and they they stuffed them in. And not only that, but their fat cells work harder at storing that, that energy. And the idea is this is actually very smart of the body. Because the body knows, okay, if things are coming down the pipe that I'm going to need to have energy and resources to deal with, that I better grab whatever I can that's available. And I better say, right, instead of working it off, I'm just kind of just trying to squirrel it away for a rainy day.

Stuart Carlton 13:09
Yeah, that makes me think and maybe maybe this is outside of your expertise. But what is kind of the role of evolution here, right? I mean, I assume that these are adaptations, maybe some of these syndromes anywhere adaptations that we have for dealing with with, you know, life on the savanna or whatever, that are not helping us as much as that or are these like just adaptations that don't work anymore? Is there an evolutionary component?

Dr. Ming Kuo 13:33
Well, I think the stress eating is normally an adaptive thing. It's it works more for acute stresses, right? But if you just sort of live like this for weeks of week some medium level constant anxiety then then you're just packing on the pounds and it's not really it's not really helpful. I think we've we've actually seen a lot of work on poverty and how how stress eating works in poverty but but right if even though this is a good short term strategy for the body, in long term scenarios is actually counterproductive and actually is is bad for us in the end. Another favorite behavioral effects we may be seeing is kind of a lack of discipline or willpower. Where we notice for me, you know, the addiction gets that gets worse is surfing the web, I just gotta check. Maybe some useful information about COVID-19 has shown up and since the last 20 minutes, last check. So we may find our addictions, a little bit more unmanageable. And just anything that requires willpower may be more difficult, or even become sort of out of our out of our range of what we can do.

Rini Miles 15:00
You're making me feel better about myself in terms of things of God lately. It's bigger than me.

Dr. Ming Kuo 15:09
Oh, definitely. Right. Yeah. So. So I mean, as, as a psychologist, I can, this is a terrible thing to say. But I'm, I'm kind of delighted to see all these things show up on my feet in Facebook, because this is kind of what our understanding is of what stress does to people. And so it's all kind of happening according to our understanding. And maybe one of the, let me, let me relate it to that, let me turn to two last effects. One is, we may be experiencing sleep disruptions, that's also stress related. And unfortunately, all of this stress and sleep disruptions are probably doing kind of a job on our immune functioning, including reducing our ability to address viral threats, which, which is really kind of opposite of what he's like, right now.

Stuart Carlton 16:04
It's an unfortunate downward spiral to be on.

Dr. Ming Kuo 16:08
Yeah, and so when we're in what we call, even a mild fight, or flight, or they're calling it flight, fight and freeze these days, as well, when we're in that kind of state, the body shifts resources, and it doesn't, it doesn't make long term resource, long term investments in your immune system, it it, it gears up for immediate threats. And so if we're like walking around as this little ball of stress all the time, then our natural killer cells, which which are the ones that are that go out and find viral threats and take care of them, they're actually reduced in number and they're reduced in activity. So all of this stuff is no fun to be in this virus crisis syndrome. But the good news is we have we have a potential cure a lot of us, right outside our door. There

Stuart Carlton 17:12
we go. And so yeah, you're taking us right to the topic for the day? Well, well, segued, maybe you should watch the show. But But so, so but what I'm hearing, let's move to that, but what I'm hearing just is like, there's all these different effects. And these effects, you as a site psychologist, are predictable, right? I mean, you would have guessed that this is what's going to happen. And you're see it's happened. But also, based on your past research, you found that there are some I don't want to say the term solution, but some things that might help is that is that right? And that's, that's where going outdoors maybe comes in and let's talk about that.

Dr. Ming Kuo 17:43
Yeah, um, so I want to preface this by saying you don't actually have to literally go outdoors, even even a view of if you have a kind of Green Street to look at from your window, or I don't know, magnolia tree, I have a magnolia tree, my neighbors have a magnolia tree, which is starting to bloom. And I can see that from my, my home office area. So all of that has an impact. bizarrely enough, even I think, the shortest time amount of time people have shown is, is in the order of seconds, like, like just a 17 second view of nature has measurable effects. And that was that was even a simulated real human nature. It was a simulated nature. So the tiniest, even the tiniest doses make a difference. And it doesn't have to be, you know, Sherwood Forest or the Grand Canyon. Even any little bit of nature that makes you feel better, if you feel better, then that's probably enough that it's going to have many of these other

Rini Miles 18:56
effects. And so why do you think that nature has such an effect on us?

Dr. Ming Kuo 19:02
Oh, well, there are actually a whole variety of ways it does. I guess the one of the main ones is if you think about this fight, flight freeze response. One of the best actors is actually been tremendously well documented, and we kind of need to stop doing studies, because we just been showing the same thing over and over. But we while we totally absolutely positively know is that nature is good for stress reduction that helps us not only go from fight flight freeze to our normal baseline levels of whatever stress slash relaxation, but it actually moves us past that normal state into a kind of rosy, calm, happy, truly relaxed state. So and when you're in that truly relaxed state, that's when that's when the body starts to make different decisions about you know, okay, it's like, okay, if I feel like this I must be, I must be truly safe. And I can afford to make long term investments in immune system functioning and, and, and other things. So the immune system turns out to be kind of a big deal in health. And if we're in that deeply relaxed state, then that's when we make these particular investments and new, long term immune functioning, which obviously has a whole variety of benefits for our firm physical and mental health.

Stuart Carlton 20:34
And so when you're saying investments, or you're talking about like these sort of subconscious processes that your body does, whether or not you want it to is that is that what you mean by investments there?

Dr. Ming Kuo 20:43
Yes. Right. It's, so depending on our investments

Stuart Carlton 20:46
is a triggering topic right now. Just in general.

Dr. Ming Kuo 20:51
Sorry, no, this is right. These are all decisions the body makes, whether you would like it to or not, whether it's actually adaptive for your situation or not, this is sort of the programming that's built in. Because generally speaking, if we were, if we were about to be attacked by a lion, then that was not the time to make long term investments of our resources, our bodies should take whatever energy it has, and it should put it into rotting or fight, right? Not not boosting our immune backup system.

Stuart Carlton 21:28
So even even the small time and he are saying might might be able to earn a small time experiencing nature might be able to help this. So like eating lunch outside, maybe or eating lunch, if you have a porch, you know, even just that kind of exposure, which is I mean, going to be very safe in the terms of viral spread, right, especially if your backyard or a porch where there and other people, but you're saying that even that can make a positive difference in terms of people's well being in a way that in this sort of subconscious way. Is that Is that right?

Dr. Ming Kuo 21:58
Right. Right. So have you have some greenery, a walk, lunch, lunch on a porch, a walk in a green, a tree like neighborhood makes makes no real difference. And then you know, if you can get a little further out to something that's sort of mostly natural, like so in on our campus, we have the Japan house area, and there's a lot of walking paths there. And if you aren't careful about maintaining, you know, the six foot distance, you can really get away from things I mean, mentally, you can feel like you have gotten away from your concerns, you can stop the hamster wheel of rumination you can achieve, you know, just a lightness and a calmness of mood. That's, that's really quite striking. And you will probably most likely return afterwards to find that you're now able to function and focus in a way that maybe you weren't able to, before that

Stuart Carlton 23:00
walk. Yeah, that's really great. And for those of you who haven't listened to our last couple of episodes, we've recently had an epidemiologist from the University of Illinois, Chicago Dr. On her show, and an ER doctor who was also an epidemiologist, Franco's Andreevich talk about you know, going outside and how to do so both safely and responsibly. And I think they both agree that you can go outside safely and responsibly, responsibly, excuse me. And it sounds like you're saying there's just a ton of benefits from that.

Dr. Ming Kuo 23:31
Right, right. Yeah. So every every every description, every symptom of virus crisis syndrome that I that I mentioned, the hamster wheel of rumination, the mental fog, the emotional resilience, the irritability, stress eating, lack of discipline, or willpower if

Stuart Carlton 23:51
you want you're just running down my list here that's like

Dr. Ming Kuo 23:54
every single one of those is something we have experimentally shown to improve when we have some kind of contact with nature.

Rini Miles 24:05
So so having been steeped in this all this time how do you incorporate it into your life or you think about it as you're as you're out? And about in a natural environment? So do you kind of just let yourself go or?

Dr. Ming Kuo 24:20
Well, one thing I did once was I combined my my my shopping trip with or I did my my shopping trip one week at the local farm and ag store and I bought eight baby chicks.

Stuart Carlton 24:41
Is that what we hear in the background there?

Dr. Ming Kuo 24:43
That is a tremendous you cannot all your troubles just fly out the window when you are looking at baby chicks?

Stuart Carlton 24:51
Tell them hello. Got baby chicks and that's one way that you're trying to just incorporate more natural world into your your life are there other other So maybe you're doing that you could share? Oh, yeah, I'm

Dr. Ming Kuo 25:03
definitely taking walks I, I make sure to look up. I mean, my, my desk doesn't face the window. But if you can turn your desk to face the window, that's a great idea, I just make it make a point of turning around and looking looking at the back door, or the back window. Yeah, taking walks is a really good thing, because the physical activity of walking is another great stress buster. So combining that with doing a walk in a relatively green area, means you're kind of maximizing the possible dose of stress reduction. One one other thing, I haven't managed to do this myself, because I've been just trying to stay close to home. But if you do have some place that near you, that feels really a way that maybe gives you a sense of awe or, or even perspective, that's another great way to sort of get out of your own head where you're sort of oh, what's going to happen to me this, I'm worried about this, when you're when you're in that sort of self focused, worrying about the same things over and over again, getting out to where it's not human dominated nature, it's really nature nature, then that that can be really powerful in terms of helping that helping you stop. Because it's like, oh, look at this place that it doesn't, it's fine. It doesn't care whether I live or die, or this happens or that the other thing is, there's something nice about being in a larger context like that, that reminds you, you know what, there is a larger world out there, and there are good things that are happening. And maybe just sitting in this stewing in these worries is not particularly necessary or helpful.

Rini Miles 27:00
Sometimes, I was just to say that sometimes the stars are that for me. So

Dr. Ming Kuo 27:06
yeah, that's a great point.

Stuart Carlton 27:08
It just occurred to me that that's something totally missing from my life right now. It's a sense of awe, that's something that's been taken, you know, or that's much harder to get. And you're right, I'm going to think through how, how to how to get that again, because it's been a while at this point. And I think it's

Dr. Ming Kuo 27:24
one thing I mean, I think ring, these idea of the stars seems like a great, a great example and close to home. But another thing you can do is it's possible, obviously, you know, the classic stimuli that cars are, you know, the magnificent scenery, the Grand Canyon or, or being in the redwoods, but you can experience or if you just sort of take the time to look at something that small and beautiful and at hand, if you if you allow yourself to get into it enough. And really notice how beautifully this thing is put together and how how delicate the petals of this flower are, you know, where you can actually generate Ah, just by spending a little more time with something that you might ordinarily just kind of glance, glance over and, and not register?

Stuart Carlton 28:17
Yeah, I hear you. What's the challenge? It's such a darn challenge right now, though, because all those things you're talking about, they pull you out of the moment, right. And so you're saying it's almost we could get really woowoo real quick here. But like, you know, it's like, what you're saying is immerse yourself in the moment of this, this sort of beauty on the micro scale. But as soon as you start to do that, right now, your brain is gonna want to pull you out because of the VCs. Right? Yeah, what a frustrating situation.

Dr. Ming Kuo 28:44
I don't know, I think the more chances you give your yourself to do that, the better it gets at meditation, I understand that I'm not I'm not being brought on here to talk about meditation. But empirically, meditation has a lot of the effects. And so if you were to say combine a certain amount of meditation and nature walks, all of it will kind of interact. So the, the meditation will help you be able to, to get off the hamster wheel when you're in nature. And that having done that, in a time in nature will help you stay on a kind of stable and good state. When you got get indoors.

Stuart Carlton 29:28
That kind of doctor that sounds like a good prescription to me.

Rini Miles 29:32
Yeah, I was just gonna say thank you. Thank you. It really

Stuart Carlton 29:35
does. And that's wonderful. Your perspective, you know, based on all of the research that you've done, it's fascinating, and I think I think really healthy, but the real reason we have you on is for these next two questions. And so that is if you could have a great donut for breakfast or a great sandwich for lunch, but only one which would you pick.

Dr. Ming Kuo 29:54
Oh my god, it's the sandwich.

Stuart Carlton 29:59
Sandwich. We're gonna Change the question up, but but the real reason I want to know is you live in Urbana, right or Champaign? Yeah. Can I go in Urbana Champaign to get a great sandwich?

Dr. Ming Kuo 30:10
Oh gosh, I don't know lots of places. Um, I guess the one I do is common ground Co Op, because it's near me.

Stuart Carlton 30:18
Common Ground copped on and on. And then the last question we'd like to wrap up with is, and I feel like actually, this whole podcast has been life advice to tell you the truth. But if you had one piece of life advice for our listeners, it can be big, it can be small, it can be serious, it can be silly. You know it, but if you had one piece of life advice to share, based on your experience, what would that be?

Dr. Ming Kuo 30:40
Okay, give it to ya.

Stuart Carlton 30:44
Never settle on the first offer. All right.

Dr. Ming Kuo 30:48
I was gonna say wash your hands. But the other one is, the psychology behind the effects of nature tell us that when we, when we are kind to ourselves, when we put ourselves in the situations where we feel truly calm and relaxed and sort of serene and happy. That state of mind is profoundly important for our not only mental health, but our physical health. And so whatever it is for you, maybe it's knitting or walking, or meditation, or maybe it's quiet time with friends and family, whatever puts you in that state is probably something you should make a point of doing. Not just because it's nice, because you know that it's functional, it's crucial to our functioning and our survival as human beings to spend a certain amount of time in that life is good or life is okay, kind of state.

Stuart Carlton 31:46
Right? Is there a place where people can go to learn more about your work? Is there a website or social media feed or something like that? Oh,

Dr. Ming Kuo 31:55
I think you can. If you type in KU, oh, which is my last name and nature, and health, that's that works pretty well. All right, Ted, talk somewhere on the web.

Stuart Carlton 32:09
We'll put a link to the Ted Ted Talk in our show notes at teach me about the Great lakes.com. Or if you're doing this on a phone or whatever, it'll be in the show notes right there and your podcast player. So you can hit it there and go listen to some more of what he had to say.

Dr. Ming Kuo 32:24
There's also there's a hidden brain

Stuart Carlton 32:26
interview, a hidden brain interview. Well, if there's a hidden, we'll definitely have to link it in the show notes are starting to punch in kids. Dr. Greenco of the human auditory landscape and human health lab at the University of Illinois, thank you so much for coming on and teaching us about the Great Lakes.

Dr. Ming Kuo 32:47
Thank you so much.

Stuart Carlton 33:00
There's a lot to think about there. And so I really appreciate you being coming on just a whole lot. And it shows the insidious nature, I think of this whole situation,

Rini Miles 33:08
right? Yes. All the ways that we're overwhelmed, right?

Stuart Carlton 33:12
Yeah. And it's just like, it's like one of the it's the eating your own tail in terms of the physical and the mental affecting each other. In the subconscious, like, we are not our own friends right now cooped up, I think is really what it is.

Rini Miles 33:25
Right? And for me, it was Check, check, check check when she listed all the Yeah, it was getting the ways.

Stuart Carlton 33:32
Yes, the first ones like, Oh, that's interesting. Second one's kind of funny. And then by like the 12th. One. I have a problem. Yeah. I've got issues. Well, anyway, read what is something you learned about the Great Lakes today.

Rini Miles 33:48
So I learned that having some contact with nature that's beneficial, can happen in just a matter of seconds. That we can if we can relax as we glanced at something and kind of get lost in it for just a moment. It, it makes a difference.

Stuart Carlton 34:09
And I learned that my life and it hadn't occurred to me, but it makes so much sense. It's really stuck with me for last several minutes. It's just missing beauty, and awe. And those are things that I think are so important, that reminder that we're connected to something larger, right and, and nature is a good place to find that. But boy, is it been missing. So that I think are going to take that and ruminate on that over the weekend and see what we can do. Well, really, I encourage people to follow us on social media since hopes not here. I'm going to totally get this right. You should go to the Twitter. And do i l i n Seagram is where you can find us on Twitter. You can also do the buoys on Twitter at to yellow buoys that spelled out TW o yellow buoys. They're a fun follow and you should also go check us out at www dot teach the great lakes.com To listen to the old app So let's find out more about you know the benefits of nature or how to go out in nature in a way that's healthy and safe. And you should do the likes and the subscribes and the reviews and all stuff like that. And with that, we'll talk to you next month if not next week. Thank you for listening and keep grading those lakes PD day DPT.