Why Connecting with Nature Is Vital to Survive and Thrive
If you live in a highly modernized city, it’s worth it to travel to a rural location whenever an opportunity arises. Aside from the chance for adventure, just getting away from the internet, TV, and most technology in general will be an impactful and enlightening experience. The Guardian reports that, “While surveys show that the great majority would like to see the living planet protected, few are prepared to take action. This, I think, reflects a second environmental crisis: the removal of children from the natural world. The young people we might have expected to lead the defence of nature have less and less to do with it.”
This is another crucial reason why all human beings—children especially—need to connect with nature more frequently. According to a National Trust report, and Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, “Since the 1970s the area in which children may roam without supervision has decreased by almost 90%. In one generation the proportion of children regularly playing in wild places in the UK has fallen from more than half to fewer than one in 10. In the US, in just six years (1997-2003) children with particular outdoor hobbies fell by half. Eleven to fifteen- year-olds in Britain now spend, on average, half their waking day in front of a screen.”
Moreover, naturalist Stephen Moss argues that, “Ultimately, it comes down to one question: should we ensure that every child has the opportunity to develop a personal connection with the natural world, with all the benefits that this will bring . . . or not?” To answer this question, The Guardian further reports that, “There are several reasons for this collapse: parents’ irrational fear of strangers and rational fear of traffic, the destruction of the fortifying commons where previous generations played, the quality of indoor entertainment, the structuring of children’s time, the criminalisation of natural play. The great indoors, as a result, has become a far more dangerous place than the diminished world beyond.”
It’s shocking to think that connecting with nature could be just as important—if not more important—than studying academics or otherwise gaining “conventional” knowledge. Dr Aric Sigman believes that, “Without a feel for the texture and function of the natural world, without an intensity of engagement almost impossible in the absence of early experience, people will not devote their lives to its protection.” Please read the info and insights below for more specific reasons to connect with nature more everyday and throughout life.
#1: Lack of nature leads to suffering.
More specifically, it’s about “solastalgia”—according to Australian professor Glenn Albrecht, director of the Institute of Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University: “the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault.”
#2: Nature is enlivening.
Scientists have discovered that humans track by scent, and some people rival bats when it comes to echolocation or bio sonar abilities. Exposing yourself to more scents will enable you to sense people and things coming before you see them—which could end up saving your life.
#3: Green brainstorming.
The University of Michigan found that memory performance and attention spans are enhanced by approximately 20% after only an hour of exposure to nature.
#4: Green healing.
Pennsylvania researchers have discovered that patients who stayed in rooms with views of trees end up remaining in the hospital for a shorter period of time than comparable patients who stayed in rooms with views of bricks. They needed less pain medication and were more happier on average, as well.
#5: Nature promotes good mental health.
Researchers in Sweden found that people who jogged in a natural environment felt more rejuvenated and less anxious, angry, and depressed than people who jogged in cities or on treadmills indoors.
#6: Nature promotes strong communities.
Researchers at the University of Rochester reveal that nature leads to nurturing relationships and enhanced generosity; neurochemicals and hormones related to social bonding are elevated when human beings interact with animals and nature.
#7: Humankind could go could extinct.
People who connect with nature value nature as it should be valued—above virtually all other things. If humanity does not take immediate, significant action to combat human-induced climate change, then humanity will cease to exist sooner than most people realize. The more people who connect with nature, the better chance humankind has to persevere.