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Why connecting with nature may improve your health

Why connecting with nature may improve your health

It is a common belief that being close to nature or viewing nature improves our health. Nowadays, our busy lifestyles and modern way of living have led to a form of suffering from a sense of disconnection from nature and its power to heal.

There is no denying that connecting with nature may reduce the physiological symptoms of stress in our bodies. This means that we are less likely to be anxious in nature, which can allow us to be more open to other people and creative ways of thinking. 

Several studies have discovered that viewing nature in images or videos leads to greater social behaviors like generosity and kindness [1].

According to research, looking at nature in images and videos seems to shift our sense of self, lessening the boundaries between ourselves and others, which can positively impact social interactions. A notable study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2015, showed that participants who spent just one minute looking up into a beautiful stand of native trees reported feeling less entitled and self-important [2]. This is because nature is said to induce feelings of awe, wonder, and reverence, all emotions known to benefit everything from well-being and selflessness to humility and mindfulness [3].

It is suggested that observing nature on a daily basis may be deeply rewarding, producing a constant flow of positive emotions that help calm our nervous systems. These feelings are thought to help us establish a "greater sense of openness, creativity, connection, generosity, and resilience [2]."

Whether it is going for a walk in the woods, looking at nature on Instagram, or filling your office with plants, studies continue to show that connecting with nature on a daily basis may have long term benefits like reducing stress, improving recovery from illness, promoting physical well-being and encouraging behavioral changes that will enhance both emotion and physical well-being. 

 

References

[1] , K., & Keltner, D. (n.d.). What Happens When We Reconnect with Nature. Retrieved September 02, 2020, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/

what_happens_when_we_reconnect_with_nature

[2] Piff, P. K., Dietz, P., Feinberg, M., Stancato, D. M., & Keltner, D. (2015). Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior. Retrieved September 02, 2020, from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-pspi0000018.pdf

[3] Richardson, M. (2020, January 15). Why Our Connection with Nature Matters. Retrieved September 02, 2020, from https://www.psychreg.org/connection-with-nature/

 

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