The Psychology of Nature
Updated: 6 days ago
Ever been told that you need to spend some time in nature to 'reset' or 'get back to normal'? In this article, we lift the lid on the effects nature has on our psychological wellbeing and the research behind these effects.
Too many times are people told to ‘spend more time in nature, it will help you reset and get back to normal’ without understanding just how important this statement is.
The evolution of all life has occurred in an environment rich with natural stimulus. Our ears are tuned to prefer the sounds of rolling waves compared to commuting traffic. Our eyes are drawn to the vastcolours and contours of a rolling mountain range compared to a city skyline. With these preferences, a physiological response also occurs. By positioning ourselves in nature we are ablet to listen more clearly about what our body is trying to tell us. You might notice that your breathing is shallow. By taking a deep breath of fresh air, your breath deepens and your heart rate slows over time. You may notice that you are only hearing what is going on inside of your mind like stressful thoughts, deadlines or pressures at workrather than the world around you. By listening to the trees moving in the wind, the rolling waves at the beach, you can put your internal thoughts into perspective and re-evaluate how to approach each one effectively.
For millions of years our physiological and psychological development has occurred in an environment filled with natural stimulus. So why should we think that living our inner-city lives full-time is all that we need? Unfortunately, sometimes everyone needs a detox from the day-to-day stresses of life and there is no better way than spending quality time with the environment that molded us for millions of years.
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