To Increase Happiness in Life Learn to enjoy Nature – Human tendencies towards nature are genetic and rooted in the cycle of growth. When stressed, we often choose to escape to mingle with nature. Environmental psychology has also proven that activities related to nature such as walks on the beach or mountains can evoke happiness and give peace.
During the pandemic, some people spend a lot of time enjoying nature and exploring green open spaces. Besides being able to help improve physical health, these activities can also maintain mental health and achieve overall well-being.
According to research initiated by experts from Canada, taking a few moments each day to pay attention to the natural environment can increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Here is the review,
1. Human and Nature – The Relationship
The Topic of the relationship between humans and nature is something not new. In 1929, Sigmund Freud wrote about the relationship between the human mind and its environment.
Furthermore, the concept of ecopsychology emerged in the 1990s. This concept highlights the role of humans in their relationship with nature to improve interpersonal skills and emotional well-being.
Therefore, ecopsychology recommends outdoor patient care and emphasizes the importance of walking in green open areas (parks, for example).
2. Positive Effects on Health
A 2017 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology examined the relevance of nature-related activities and increased feelings of happiness. Holli-Anne Passmore, Ph.D., as a researcher, recruited 395 students to be participants in the study. The researcher then randomly divided the participants into several groups.
The first group was tasked with taking photos of natural objects that caught their attention, such as sunsets, leaves on trees, or flowers in bloom. Meanwhile, the second group is tasked with taking photos of man-made objects, such as buildings or machines. Furthermore, the third group is a control group that is not required to take an action.
Passmore found that participants who engaged in a nature observation task reported increased feelings of happiness and well-being overall. Participants in the first group were also more open to social contact with their peers.
3. Impact on Mental Health
Research on the mental health impact of the pandemic found as many as 45 percent of respondents reported that walking in green open spaces was a strategy to overcome mental problems.
Meanwhile, a study involving 3,000 participants in Ecological Applications in 2020 found that fulfilling access to green spaces was associated with increased self-esteem, life satisfaction, and higher subjective happiness.
4. Promotes The Feeling of Happiness and Well-Being
Research shows that nature can help humans achieve prosperity through the following possibilities:
- Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and produces positive emotions.
- Provide opportunities to achieve the essential goals of exercise. This can facilitate better sleep and improve mood.
- Can reduce anxiety and stress related to distracting thoughts. Being in nature helps take your mind off things that can be worrying.
- Can help meet treatment goals (patients).
- Can increase self-esteem as an implication of an improved mood.
- Reduces the risk of depression.
- Improve mental well-being.
5. Stay Connected with Nature to Get its Benefits
According to the Mental Health Foundation, ways to stay connected to nature include:
Engage in direct contact with nature: take a moment to pay attention and develop a connection with the natural surroundings. You may be surprised by the specifics that your sense of sight manages to capture.
Capture moments related to nature: by taking photos, videos, or recordings of nature sounds to share with the public so that many people are inspired.
Talking about nature: enjoy a moment of togetherness with family, partners, or friends to discuss the beauty of nature. You can exchange ideas about tourist objects with natural nuances that should be visited.
Connecting with nature to simply observe the elements it contains and appreciate its existence is an alternative to therapy and self-healing. Nature teaches humans about understanding healthy living, sustainable motivation, and energy to keep trying to achieve the best. So, don’t forget to take a moment to mingle with nature, okay?