Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Eco-Psychology: Connecting with Nature

Oct 24, 2013 07:11AM
by Karin Marcus

There is something very special about walking in a forest, entering the silent sanctuary of a pine grove or just sitting in the cooling shade of a tree's expansive branches. Take a walk in the woods and you’ll find your breathing become deeper, your senses satiated.

Researchers have demonstrated a physiological benefit of spending time in a forest. In 2004, Japan's National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization found concrete evidence that a forest stroll had beneficial effects on blood pressure, heart rate and the immune system. The study further determined that people who even just viewed forest scenery for 20 minutes had a 13 percent lower blood concentration of the stress hormone cortisol.

And now the psychological benefits are gaining long overdue recognition with the new field of eco-psychology.

The basic idea of eco-psychology is that humankind's disconnect with nature is a central contributing factor to most emotional woes. Eco-psychologists believe in a deeply bonded and reciprocal relationship between humans and nature. They hold that our separation from the natural world leads to human suffering and environmental degradation. Most importantly, eco-psychologists believe the connection between humans and nature is healing for both.

Simply put, eco-psychology urges us to get outdoors and enjoy nature’s bounty. Not only will you feel better but you’ll probably also become a better steward for the world.

Karin Marcus is a certified coach and retreat leader. She can be reached at SteppingOutCoaching.com. October 2013.


Find more Local Articles

Upcoming Events Near You
February 2020

  

Global Brief Video
Health Brief Video
2020 Editorial Calendar

 

Pick Up Your Copy Today