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What is nature connection?

Updated: Jul 5

Nature connectedness refers to how much individuals see nature as part of their personal identity. People with a stronger connection to nature tend to experience greater happiness and a sense that their lives have meaning. Nature can evoke positive emotions like calmness, joy, and creativity, and it can also improve concentration.

For children, being connected to nature offers numerous benefits. It helps them develop healthy, resilient bodies, enhances their social skills, and fosters essential abilities such as problem-solving, reasoning, creativity, curiosity, risk identification, and self-regulation. Research indicates that outdoor lessons lead to higher engagement, better concentration, and improved behaviour among children. Additionally, children with access to natural environments are more likely to be physically active.

For adults, spending time in nature yields various advantages, including better blood pressure and stress hormone levels, lower rates of depression and anxiety, enhanced well-being, reduced stress, fewer aggressive behaviours in Alzheimer's patients in long-term care, and improved work performance.

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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