In recent days there is an increasing talk of mental health. Now, while this ‘increase’ could easily be down to the fact that is easier to talk about it now than it was before (while before you might have been locked up in a hospital , now it is more acceptable and easier to find a therapist), it could also be down to our increasingly urbanised way of life.
Environmental psychologists are amongst those studying how the environment around us affects us. You can find a great podcast about this here
I am convinced that nature , in all of its shapes and forms, plays a huge role in human minds
I see the calming effects on myself , when I spent a whole weekend in the forest, i came on the other end of it feeling refreshed, the worries of everyday life gone. Hard to overthink things when you are blown away by the sight of deers crossing your path and buzzards and owls flying in front of you. Moreover, I think that only by being in nature and truly in nature (thus exposed to the elements) we can learn. You have to be aware , have fast reflex and yet maintain calm. You have to read the signs, understand sounds and colours. I would think than any nature can do that. For me, however, there is nothing better than being by (or better in) the water. There is something exciting yet calming and even slightly scary and mysterious about watching the big blue moving (even apparently calm water will move a little). seeing all of the shades of that blue that can give you an indication of depth, can also give you a multitude of feelings. From feeling little and insignificant in front of such huge vastity to maybe being a bit scared of the unknown, or feeling curious about what lies beyond . Perhaps you will experience it all and feel everything while feeling nothing because you are immerse in the moment , and that is also okay . Nature and wilderness can do that to you in a way that no city will ever be able to!
But in my opinion these benefits can only be achieved by Nature and not by ‘nature’. What I mean is that to obtain these benefits is not enough to have just a little square of green in a city, but real wilderness is needed.
So we should fight for our rights to wild spaces, and stop excessive urbanisation. Fight for our rights to holidays and spend them to reconnect with nature. We should encourage others, that are maybe more foreign to the nature concept, to venture out of their confort, because they will find a benefit in the end, and maybe everyone will realise how important it is to protect it, restore it and keep it safe...
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