The benefits of nature connection
Using the natural world to benefit wellbeing seems almost too simple a solution, but there’s a growing body of scientific research that shows it works very effectively.
Nature connection can be improved through a variety of methods, whether the method used is one that is in essence contemplative or practical. In fact you don’t even have to like nature to receive the benefits from connecting with it, which might seem strange but in fact is quite true.
To give you an example, once a week for the last 4 months I’ve been working for 2 hours with a particularly challenging youngster in a woodland environment. Most weeks the youngster would arrive with head down, under a hood, expressing his dislike for being outdoors. I will write a longer post about this particular ‘nature connection’ journey soon, but I will share a phrase he used at our last session, “I love nature, it makes me feel so peaceful”.
What regular doses of nature connection has done for this youngster, despite his reluctance to engage, is to enable him to gain emotional regulation, which was not in his skill-set at all prior to the nature connection sessions. Back at school they’ve noticed significant improvements in resilience and in this youngster’s ability to deal with situations he finds stressful. Daily class exclusions have dropped to almost zero, which is a win, win situation for all.
Nature has the power to fascinate us
Nature is full of fascinating things, whether at face level, underfoot or overhead. There’s so much to rediscover and appreciate and nature can hold our attention without requiring much mental effort.
Natural environments have a capacity to have a restorative effect. Fostering a relationship with nature is now considered important for everyone and there’s scientific proof that even sessions designed to purely ‘notice’ good things in nature, for just 2 hours a week, can deliver health and wellbeing benefits.