Why is it that being at the beach or in the mountains is so relaxing? On some level, everyone knows that the sights and sounds of nature have restorative properties. Experiencing the breeze, the sky, the sun, or the moon just seems to cleanse the soul. But is there any science behind this phenomenon? There is. New sights, sounds, and smells keep us young and positively impact mood and brain health. And science also shows that our brains and nervous system relax when our eyes are taking in the horizon. This is because our eyes must open wide in order to take in a wide view. The brain associates this opening with relaxation. When we look at something very close to us (our phone for example) our eyes narrow to focus on what is right in front of us. And the brain associates this posture with concentration…and stress. If you are feeling stressed and need some relaxation, do your eyes and your brain a favor and head outside to take in one of nature’s beautiful panoramic views.