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Based on research done Passmore, Holli-Anne., & Holder, Mark. D., (2017) written by Bethany Wellman, M.S.
How much does nature need to be a part of our lives to develop positive outcomes such as life satisfaction and happiness?
Psychologists wanted to identify if attending to the environment in a daily routine would cause personal or social benefit. They assigned nearly 400 students to one of three groups: nature, human-built or no change. They instructed participants in the nature and human-built groups to focus on how nature or human-built objects in their everyday surroundings made them feel. They asked participants to photograph and describe scenes that aroused their emotions. After two weeks, all participants completed questionnaires examining their overall wellbeing.
Researchers found more positive emotions, uplifting experiences, sense of connectivity (to others, to nature and life as a whole) in noticing one’s feelings in the nature over the human built and no change groups. Interestingly, participants across all groups reported equal time spent in nature, yet those focusing on their feelings in nature were the most impacted. When reviewing the photographs’ descriptions, researchers found more positive emotional themes associated with nature than human-built photos.
Examining nature and our related feelings enhances our well-being. Open your doors and connect with your feelings and nature!
Passmore, H., & Holder, M. D. (2017). Noticing nature: Individual and social benefits of a two-week intervention. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(6), 537-546.