Today’s post is from the PSYCHREG blog, and is by Miles Richardson, Head of Psychology at the University of Derby and founder and coordinator of the Nature Connectedness Research Group.
He says that whilst there is plenty of research to demonstrate that spending time in nature is good for us, there’s rather less to explain why this should be the case. He also says that relatively little work has explored the benefits of being silent in nature.
As Silent Space notes, Dr Richardson’s suggestion that spending time in silent reflection in the natural world increases our connection with nature and with ourselves. His PSYCHREG blog begins …
“Nature is good for us. There’s plenty of evidence that exposure to nature is good for people’s health, well-being and happiness – with green spaces even promoting prosocial behaviours. Less is known about why nature is good for us. Simply put, nature is good for us because we are part of nature. We are human animals evolved to make sense of the natural world and this embeddedness in the natural world can often be forgotten and overlooked. Mentally, we can become disconnected from nature because we’re now deeply embedded in a human-made world. Emerging research is showing that knowing and feeling this connection with nature is also good for us, and it helps bring about the wider health benefits of exposure to nature. Knowing your place in nature brings meaning and joy. So spending time in nature helps people feel happier and more connected, and being both happy and connected makes people feel healthier. My research is focussed on understanding and increasing this connection with nature, because being connected is associated with greater pro-nature conservation behaviours and our own well-being. Having a connection with nature is beneficial for the well-being of both humans and the natural world.