What is nature connection?
Updated: Mar 15
Nature connectedness is the extent to which people include nature as part of their identity. People who are more connected with nature are usually happier in life and more likely to report feeling their lives are worthwhile. Nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration.
The benefits of nature connection in children include developing healthy, resilient bodies, developing social skills, and developing core skills such as problem-solving, reasoning, creativity, curiosity, risk identification and self-regulation. Studies show that when lessons are taken outdoors, children are more engaged in learning, are able to concentrate better and behave. Children with access to nature also tend to enjoy more physical activity.
Benefits of spending time in nature in adults include: improved blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduced levels of depression and anxiety, improved well-being, decreased stress, reduced incidents of aggressive behaviours among Alzheimer’s patients in long-term care facilities, improvements in work and many more.
Exposure to various forms of nature has been shown to lead some people to be more generous and caring, helping to bring individuals closer to others. Nearby nature, such as a park, provides the setting for communal activities and contact with neighbours and can result in a greater sense of belonging to the community and increased satisfaction of residents.
According to this study from 2022, Ireland ranks second worst in Europe in nature connectedness, which is also highly correlated with low levels of well-being and decreasing biodiversity. So the more nature there is around us, the higher connected we become to nature and this helps to improve our well-being.
In order to connect further with nature, what I like to do is take a long walk or photograph different places. It helps me to feel relieved of stress and of other worries.
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