Nature heals us, and it heals us far more than we realise. Everyone feels better amidst nature, even on a subconscious level, and this is called the biophilia effect. However as we surge into the 21st century we are rapidly relinquishing our connection to the natural world for an alien tech- driven lifestyle, and unfortunately it is coming at a cost to us all.
In our modern high-paced lifestyle there has become an urgent need to stop and absorb the earth around us, and in the words of Einstein “There are only two ways to live your life. One is a though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
With more that half the world’s population living in cities, humans are progressively losing their rhythm with nature. We are essentially mutilating the natural world, our ecosystems, and all associated biota around us.
In short we live with a biocentric belief, and it is this anthropocentric conviction that is destroying all life on Earth.
Contrary to blinded anthropocentrism, there is a myriad of health benefits derived from being outdoors.
According to the World Health Organisation the definition of health goes far beyond being free of ailments or infirmity, it declares that it is “a complete state of physical, mental and social well being”.
It has been long renown that good health is far easier to obtain when we live closer to nature.
The biophilia effect
The love of life and the living world.
According to the theory of the biologist E. O. Wilson, biophilia is an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world. In Wilson’s hypothesis, “people have an ‘urge to affiliate with other forms of life, and that reunification with our roots, and how this is good for all life in the biosphere”.
The biophilia hypothesis is important for understanding human health. Contact with nature is essential for the human psyche. And newest findings have shown that also our physical health depends on influences of nature.
There are countless scientific studies that have been conducted on brain function, which has proven not only do we feel well, that we operate on almost all social, reactive and metaphysical levels far stronger and clearer when we have some direct association or contact with nature.
A Natural environment surrounded by natural substances is an imperative recipe for good health.
Not only do modern pollutants and toxins make us ill, but so too does our disconnection from nature. The psychological impacts of nature as well as many bioactive substances of the natural world are important for the health of all organisms.
We know terpenes from the forest air, derived from trees, significantly increase our immune function and our natural anti-cancer-mechanisms, such as the immune proteins perforine, granulysine and granzymes. By destroying our forest ecosystems we deprive ourselves of those important substances.
We need to realize that nature is more than a material resource and that it is more notably a pathway to human health and happiness.
Nature imparts to us that we are part of the mysterious web of life, holistic creatures that are integrated to the world around us. So what we do to this web we do to ourselves.
Therefore we have to build a future in which we live in harmony with our natural habitats. Healthy people require a humane society that takes the responsibility for the earth´s ecology. That future should also include animal ethics in a world without exploitation.
The Biophilia effect is also about spiritual dimension. The human quest for meaning will only discover its answers when we look at our roots. There is a strong bond between humans and other species. As long as we deny this bond or do things that work against it, we will not attain holistic harmony in our lives.
Naturalist John Muir found nature’s awe-inspiring imagery a positive, emotive experience, and an elixir for health and happiness. Amidst the Sierra Nevada in California he once wrote. “We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”
Of course John understood that we were once intimately connected with nature, and thrived amidst it, yet if neglected we will ultimately perish without it.
13 ways to plug back into nature.
Further reading …
The Nature Fix – Florence Williams
The Biophilia Effect – Clemens G Arvay
Ted Mead claims the deeper he is immersed in nature the better he feels. Ted acknowledges that not everyone may aspire to imbuing their life into deep ecology, though there is no question that most would like to achieve a higher state of wellness, relaxation, or have the ability to feel more equanimity in their daily lives. Ted is convinced that nature beholds the answers to the many issues facing us both as individuals and as a human race, though unless we reunite ourselves to our primeval roots then the future ahead will be life in a highly dull and artificial world with a meaningless existence!