How caring for nature and the environment can be a healing experience?
Humans are a part of nature and a plummeting disconnection with it has caused life-altering consequences but that is a talk for some other day.
Today we will talk about how caring for nature and engaging in a meaningful relationship with it can help us heal.
A few months back I met a cute Chihuahua in a community park where I go for my morning jogs. She was bouncing a rubber ball from one place to another and I was in love with the sight of her. Soon enough I realised that she had been lost and was looking for her human companion.
I am feeling a bit stupid while writing this but I was scared of dogs! Yes. But it’s in the past. So, following the thread, I was too scared to approach her but I managed to pick her up and she was squeaking like a little baby! My heart cried for her, honestly.
She might have guessed it that I was scared but didn’t mean harm to her. Minutes later we both grew comfortable and we sat on the emerald park bench; waiting for her human friend to come and get her.
I don’t remember properly but 10-15 minutes post that the awaited person came and hugged his dog like he has found his lost child. He thanked me for millions of times.
We talked after that and he told me that he got this dog as a therapy dog and that he was taking ecotherapy.
I knew about therapy dogs but ecotherapy was new for me. Basically, in this kind of therapy, you care for nature and do things which is more engaging. I was living in my bubble that my morning jogs in the park was a way to connect to nature and it got busted that day.
Connecting with nature didn’t mean running on the jogging tracks with iPod on! No. Seldom did I plant a tree or watered a baby plant. The guy talked to me and explained to me the entire thing and it was a whole lot different. We humans intuitively know that nature can help us heal but rarely do we things for it which is caring.
We have run out of the habit of giving, and ecotherapy makes us do things for nature. When you love and care for something you feel good, right? Same goes for the mother nature as well.
According to research conducted by the UK which asked the UK citizens to “do something wild” consecutively for 30 days had shown the significance of the interaction of humans with nature, scientifically and statistically.
The study has shown that activities like feeding birds, watering plants, planting flowers for bees, and engaging in a meaningful way has brought a hike in people’s happiness and health index.
This challenge aided to the ever-growing repository of evidence which supports the claim that we need nature for our well-being and health.
A 2014 research found that a walk in the woods with a group or solo is highly effective to cure depression, stress and other mental health problems.
Moreover, the researchers have noted that traumatic experiences, like serious physical illness, loss of a loved one, unemployment, chronic diseases like ADHD have noted tremendous mental health boost with their interaction with nature.
I quote Dr McRobert who was involved in the study mentioned above
“Nature isn’t a miracle cure for diseases,”, “But by interacting with it, spending time in it, experiencing it and appreciating it we can reap the benefits of feeling happier and healthier as a result.”
Interaction between humans and nature is good for us and great for nature. It’s a reciprocal relationship. If we start caring for our nature and environment and have a deeper connection with it, then we will make sure to save it from destruction. Intrinsic urge and empathy are essential to the healthy link between nature and human.
Nature isn’t just a nice thing to have and pose around, it is indispensable and has huge importance in itself.
It’s fundamental for our existence and it needs to be reflected in our education system.
Let’s make this interaction a usual part of our lives, for it is in the essence of the nature that we are truly alive.