The Nature-Human Connection

An area of new research is focusing on humans and mental and behavioral disorders and the positive effect of green spaces and forests. Humans can see (detect) more wavelengths of the color green than any other color in the visible light spectrum. We are made for green! We all know that being outside in nature and fresh air is good for you. Sunlight helps your body make vitamin D. Fresh air is good for your lungs. Exercising especially outdoors is good for you on a number of levels.

Living in a desert environment is less understood in terms of nature-human connection. If you look for research in this area, it is hard to find. Not too many studies exist between non-green environments , meaning natural areas with little green, as opposed to a built area like concrete city area, and human mental and behavioral disorders Regardless it is important to get some sunshine, look at the sky, clouds, sunrise, sunset and plant life in the area where you live. If you have pets this is bound to be a health boost to you. Here are some studies that have been done for scientific proof that nature is good for you!

The excerpts below are written by Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, May 6, 2020 published in PositivePsychology.com

6 Interesting Studies

” A Study On Climatic Conditions And Its Effects On Personality Traits”

A team of psychologists in the US, UK, China, and Australia investigated how climatic changes affect human personality. The study aimed to examine and explore the aetiological causes of why character and behavioral patterns differ with climatic variations.

The sample population for the research were individuals from China and the US, two different places in terms of climatic conditions, and the report explained personality variances concerning the Big Five Personality Factor Theory.

Results indicated that people who lived in a moderate climate, with temperature up to 22-24 degrees, score higher on personality traits such as sociableness, openness, extraversion, and agreeableness. This study was a basic authentication of the fact that the physical environment we live in plays a crucial role in shaping our personality disposition, and why there should be more awareness about protecting the Nature from mayhem.”

as cited above

” A Study On Nature And Human Emotions”

“Scientists Ryan Lumber, Miles Richardson, David Sheffield published this research paper in 2017 and focused on the affective components of associating with nature. The authors suggested that being close to nature evokes positive emotions.

Outdoor activities such as hiking, gardening, or birdwatching, enhance the nature-human connection and acts as a catalyst to happiness. The study used the Nature Relatedness Scale and recorded responses on a basic Likert Scale.

The results culminated from the study positively correlated outdoor experiences with positive emotions and expanded HNC (Human-Nature Connection).”

“Climate Change And Its Effect On Human Personality”

“Charles Q. Choi (2017) published an enthralling paper on how global warming and climate crisis is expected to bring about changes in human behavior and personality traits.

The researcher argues that if climate has a role to play in framing our dispositions, then it is only logical to believe that climate crisis and the changes that follow will also impact human mannerisms significantly.

The research-based explanations and pieces of evidence of this paper, has raised questions that are yet to be answered by experts.”

“Nature And Spirituality”

“The prime focus of this research was to spread awareness about human disconnection from nature and explain why we must reconstruct this to promote happiness.

Investigator of this study, Professor Helen Lockhart, indicated that the socio-ecological crisis the world is seeing today is due to this breach of connection between humans and nature. She highlights in her study that there is a spiritual enhancement that is linked to the human-nature relationship.

Each encounter with the natural environment takes us deeper into exploring the truth behind our existence and what a happier world would look like. The subject matter of this study was that materialistic gains has blindfolded us and has made us spiritually bankrupt (Okri, 2008).

Furthermore, the research also indicated that since humans are genetically conditioned to stay in close coexistence with nature, an absence of nature-human connection creates a sense of loneliness and unhappiness within us.

It is this feeling of gloom, as the researcher suggests, that is the reason for societal disruptions and human immorality today, and while we may seek for answers outside, the real solution lies in the nature-human relationship.”

“The Importance of Nature to Well-Being”

“A 30-days campaign was run by the Wildlife Trusts of the University of Derby, with the prime focus on uncovering the crucial role nature plays in our overall eudaemonia. The study revealed that subjective feelings of happiness and wellbeing were positively correlated with natural activities such as gardening, animal feeding, bird watching, and bushwalking.

Dr. Miles Richardson, the face of this research, cited valuable evidence on how proximity to the nature improved mood, enhanced respiratory functioning, regulated hormonal malfunctions, and impacted on the thought structure of individuals as a whole.

Just by being outdoors and using all our senses to appreciate nature, we can be more mindful of the present, gain emotional resilience, and combat stress with more vitality.

We become naturally immune to anxiety, emotional ups and downs, and thought blocks, thereby feel more lively and energetic than before.

The survey further pointed that people who lived close to natural wilderness like the beach, mountains, or parklands, had better mental health and reported of falling sick lesser than those living in congested urban settings (Kuo and Coley, 2016).

Such families had fewer instances of domestic violence, said of feeling less fatigued, and showed increased productivity at the professional front.”

“The University Of Tasmania Study On Nature And Affective Experience”

“David Hayward published this research paper in 2016 and studied the effect of nature connection with enhanced mental health conditions in students.”

“He studied the implications of outdoor education and concluded that kids who received outdoor training were more satisfied and emotionally well-balanced.

Not only that, outdoor educators, according to the researcher, were possessors of sound mental health and loved their jobs more than teachers in a controlled setting. The study attracted many educational sectors and have encouraged educators and facilitators to embrace outdoor activities as an integral part of educational courses.”

written by Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, May 6, 2020 published in PositivePsychology.com

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