This moment, which has been circulating the internet for quite some time and has become anonymous, captures the simple joy of connecting with nature. The smiles on both ladies faces have a childlike delight that is often forgotten. According to ecopsychology we all rely on a connection with nature for mental well being.
“Ecopsychology, or eco-psychology as it is sometimes called, is situated at the intersection of a number of fields of enquiry, including environmental philosophy, psychology, and ecology, but is not limited by any disciplinary boundaries. At its core, ecopsychology suggests that there is a synergistic relation between planetary and personal well being; that the needs of the one are relevant to the other.” —International Community for Ecopsychology
“Humans have spent many thousands of years adapting to natural environments, yet have only inhabited urban ones for relatively few generations (Glendinning 1995; Roszak et al., 1995; Suzuki 1997; Gullone 2000). Whilst modern ‘westernization’ has doubled our life expectancy, it has also created disparities between ancient and present ways of living that may have paved the way for the emergence of new serious diseases. ‘As more people survive to older age, and as patterns of living, consuming and environmental exposures change, so non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer have come to dominate’ [McMichael, 2001 (p. 2)]. Further, mental, behavioural and social health problems are seen to be an increasing health burden in all parts of the world (Desjarlais et al., 1995).” –From the research paper “Healthy nature healthy people: ‘contact with nature’ as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations” by Cecily Maller, Mardie Townsend, Anita Pryor, Peter Brown and Lawrence St Leger
What is so powerful about the picture of the elderly woman and her toes in the grass, is she is so very happy where she is. There are many times when covens and groups decide to be out in the middle of the woods in order to feel that same joyous connection. This leaves out potential members with illnesses and mobility issues. Of course, there is also the concern for privacy because of religious discrimination and that’s another reason why groups want to meet in a secluded location.
Here are some ways to stay in touch with nature:
- Grow plants in your home.
- Visit an accessible park.
- “Get Your Green On: Gardening for Everyone” Have an accessible garden.
- Open your windows and let the fresh air in.
- Create a small waterfall indoor Zen space.