If you feel more relaxed and recharged after a day at the beach or a hike in the mountains, there is a psychological reason for that. Interacting with the natural world is good not only for our bodies but for our minds and spirits too.
What ecopsychology teaches us about why we need regular interaction with the natural world.
What we know intuitively—that interacting with the great outdoors is good for us—is now supported by a robust body of research that provides evidence that contact with nature lowers stress, reduces ruminations, and lessens anxiousness. Interacting with nature also fosters creativity, produces states of calm, restores attention fatigue, and can affect pro-social and pro-environmental behaviors.
One of the areas of psychology that has contributed to our understanding of the impacts of direct contact with nature is ecopsychology. This field of study focuses on understanding the human-nature relationship. A core assumption of ecopsychology is that the outer world and our inner world are intimately connected. After all, we are nature! Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we need regular interaction with the natural world in order to thrive as individuals and as a species. Read the full story here…