Nature contributes to improving health and increasing happiness
Nature contributes to improving health and increasing happiness
We all believe that nature should be beneficial to our health and happiness. A recent scientific analysis has shown how positively the feeling of being a part of nature affects one's physical and mental health.
Currently, there are an increasing number of studies and initiatives that put forward evidence that a connection between man and nature benefits him in terms of his health and happiness, something that only nature lovers like us will defend.
Now, the importance of this
on the ground – is scientifically and statistically clear, through the results of a recently revealed analysis of the first project witnessed in the UK for a whole month, which included what was described as the” Nature Challenge”, which in fact is an effort to encourage environmentally friendly behaviors.
This project was carried out last year and involved people who were asked to “do something different or wild” on a daily basis over the course of 30 continuous days, these people were also asked to participate in a questionnaire about what they assume for the connection they have with nature, and for feeling part of it.
The questionnaire also included questions about how they interacted with nature, how they perceived their state of Health and their sense of happiness at three different times, before participating in this project, and at the end of this participation, and also two months after that, this analytical assessment was published in the journal “PLOT ONE”.
The study was conducted by the University of Derby and the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts in Britain, in an effort to test the impact of the project organized by the Association last year under the name “30 days of wildlife” on its participants, and to identify the extent of this impact as well.
” We knew a priori that nature is good for us as humans, but the results have been more than remarkable,” says Lucy Robert, who is responsible for campaigns for nature at the association.
The study revealed – scientifically—a significant improvement in the health of the participants, their feeling of happiness, their connection with nature, and their adoption of effective friendly behaviors, such as feeding birds and planting flowers for bees to sip nectar from, not only during their participation in the project, but for long months after its completion.
Interestingly, according to Robert, the number of people who reported that their health was “excellent” increased by 30 percent. It has been speculated that this improvement in health occurred due to the recorded increase in the feeling of happiness, and the change in the relationship with nature formed the link between these two things.
The results of this study
Reinforced a growing body of evidence, which definitely shows how much we need to communicate with nature, in order to improve our health and increase our happiness.
For example, it was found that children who came into contact with Nature showed increased self-confidence, and they also felt as if nature was teaching them lessons on how to take risks and risks, unleash their creative abilities, and give them the opportunity to train, experiment, play and explore.
In some cases, it has been shown that contact with nature significantly alleviates the symptoms suffered by children with so-called” Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”, as this interaction provides them with a calming effect, and helps them to concentrate.
For adults with physical illnesses or mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, interacting with nature – along with the use of traditional medicines – can help them curb the symptoms of these diseases or disorders, and perhaps even recover from them.
“Nature is not a magic antidote to diseases, but by interacting with it, making time for it, feeling it and appreciating its value, we can reap the benefits of feeling happier and healthier,” says Robert.
According to Dr. Miles Richardson, head of the Department of psychology at the University of Derby, who supervised the implementation of the project “30 days of Wildlife”, believes that its results are important, both from a statistical point of view and from an applied practical point of view.
According to him, this project formed a large-scale campaign that included more than 18,500 participants who committed to perform about 300 thousand random behaviors and actions related to wildlife. This initiative was conceived not as a campaign aimed at improving public health, but as an initiative in which it is pleasant to participate.
He adds that the design of this campaign and the way it is evaluated are based on a previously tried and proven approach to evaluating initiatives of this magnitude, which is an “significant step”.
According to " Dr. Richardson” research evidence suggests that interaction with nature can reduce high blood pressure, relieve respiratory troubles and cardiovascular diseases, increase one's activity and improve one's mood”.
This evidence also proposes that such interaction can improve some aspects of mental and mental health, such as reducing feelings of anxiety and mental fatigue and restoring the ability to pay attention and concentrate.
But there is more, it turns out that the feeling of being a part of nature is directly related to one's sense of vitality, happiness, and satisfaction with life, as well as to one's feeling of attention, alertness, and importance in life, as well as to the decline of what is known as” cognitive anxiety”.
Richardson says these relationships are similar in importance to those that have been found to link one's well-being and well-being to other variables such as marriage and education,
He adds that recent analyses have revealed that those who have strong connections with nature feel more satisfied with life, and that these connections have positive effects on them and give them more vitality, at levels similar to those caused by previously known factors, as they bring satisfaction to humans, such as high personal income.
An understanding was beginning to emerge of the nature of the paths and activities that could lead to a strengthened connection with nature. Here it can be argued that educational curricula that include creative activities strengthen this connection in the short term, while this is not achieved as a result of similar knowledge-based activities.
Considered that the paths that help a person feel closer to nature are represented by the following concepts: “communication, emotion, sense of meaning, feeling compassion and compassion, interaction with natural beauty”. It has even been proven that the activities associated with these paths significantly increase the connection with nature, compared to just walking alone along its sides, entering urban environments or coming into contact with it.
On the other hand, more scientific and knowledge-based activities have not been shown to play a role in helping to strengthen the relationship between humans and nature.
I doubt that this relationship is mutual, just as it has been proven that interaction with nature is of obvious importance for human health and happiness, surely that interaction itself is also important for the protection of nature and the environment.
If we can help humans connect with nature
it will not only be good for them, but it will also be great news for nature,” explains Lucy Robert. Robert explains the reason for this by saying that the more people care – in essence—about the surrounding nature, its value and positive impact on their lives, the more they want to protect it from destruction.