Our connection with nature is an intrinsic part of what makes us human – we are a part of nature. Our wellness individually and collectively, depends upon our relationship with the natural world, and the global pandemic has highlighted this more than ever before.
Nature connectedness is a measurable, psychological construct, studied by Professor Miles Richardson and his team at Derby University. It can vastly improve happiness and well-being in humans in a short space of time, and this has knock on positive effects for nature.
The five pathways to nature connectedness are:
Senses: taking time to tune into nature through the senses
Emotion: How does nature make you feel?
Beauty: Noticing natures’ beauty
Meaning: Nature brings meaning to our lives
Compassion: caring for and taking action for nature
Developing nature connectedness is good for us and good for nature and using our innate creativity to connect with nature, is even better for us. Research by Bruni et al (2015) found that incorporating meaningful, nature-based sources into a variety of artistic projects increased nature connectedness, whereas traditional quizzes and knowledge-based trials did not.
During the lockdowns, I was so convinced that my own nature connection was one of the key components to getting me through, I began to study the science behind it, both with Professor Miles Richardson and then with a local therapeutic forest school practitioner, where I trained in the therapeutic uses of the woodland. I am still learning more every day, and I absolutely love this area of my work.
I am able to offer bespoke, seasonal, eco therapy for groups, individuals, schools, and corporate clients, so if this is something you would like to learn more about please contact me.
For information about my Free eco therapy group at Aspire, Aylesham, Kent click here.