Our relationship with nature is innate. We’re part of the natural world, but what is nature connectedness? Moreover, how do you know if you’re connected to nature? If you’re not, how can you re-create that bond? We explore the science of nature connectedness and why increasing it is good for you and good for the planet.
What is Nature Connectedness Theory?
Nature Connectedness theory emerged from the realisation that our relationship with nature is disintegrating. We’re disconnected from the natural world. Subsequently, increasing climate change and biodiversity loss, all indicate a planet in crisis. Moreover, our relationship is broken. The roots of Nature Connectedness sit within scientific study. It’s a measurable and internationally recognised field of research. Nature connectedness theory looks at how we can re-establish a relationship with the natural world, along with the benefits of doing so. We explore nature connectedness in this guest blog from Mindful Rewilding.
How are Humans Connected to Nature?
We live in an increasingly stressful world. Our attempts to control and exploit nature have resulted in climate emergency. Consequently, we’re divorced from nature. In other words we’ve forgotten our ancient indigenous connection. For centuries, we had ancient beliefs and practices that aligned us with the earth. We felt the spirit of the earth. For example, we were in tune with the changing seasons. Moreover, we knew the significance of lunar cycles. Planting and harvesting in tandem with them. Likewise, we tuned in to the subtle energies of nature. These ancient wisdom are still alive. Maintained by indigenous communities around the world. Most importantly, we can still connect to these sacred rhythms. We can learn to recognise the magical power of nature.
The Benefits of Connecting with Nature
Researchers at the University of Derby have discovered that when we connect to nature, it improves our wellbeing. We have an emotional connection to nature. It’s hardwired in us. What’s more there’s a key psychological link between you and the planet. Studies have found that the more you connect with nature, the more likely you are to adopt eco-friendly behaviours. You can even measure your nature connectedness with a number of psychological scales. When you connect to nature
- You experience a reduction in stress and anxiety
- Your mental health improves
- Your wellbeing increases
- You’ll notice an improvement in your mood
- Inflammation is reduced
- You are better placed to tackle climate change
How to Create a Nature Connection
How can we learn to establish a relationship with nature? That’s a good question. Especially if you live in a city. It can feel less than easy, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Researchers at Exeter University found that even virtual natural environments positively affect our wellbeing. For example, watching a video of nature will connect you to the natural world. Furthermore, The groundbreaking Nature Connectedness Research team at Derby University identified 5 pathways to nature connection.
- Senses. Tune in to nature through your senses
- Emotion. Feel alive through the emotions and feelings nature brings you
- Beauty. Notice nature’s beauty
- Meaning. Recognise nature bringing meaning to your life
- Compassion. Care about and take action for nature
Free Nature Connection Resources
How do we build a meaningful relationship with nature? Firstly, you can begin your nature connection journey today with Mindful Rewilding’s free mindfulness in nature resources. Secondly, learn how to engage with nature at one of our free online nature connection events. Finally, want a deep dive? Join us on one of Mindful Rewilding’s mindfulness in nature courses. We’d love to see you there.
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