Through continuous and repeated practices of observation of the land and the interrelations in it, engaging all the senses, we have the opportunity to retune to the frequency and rhythms of the natural world returning us a much needed sense of belonging to this planet we call home.
Attention to Sensory Awareness
Bringing attention to our sensory awareness of the present moment and engaging in soft fascination allows us to disengage from stuck and cycling patterns of thought, behaviour and perception offering new possibilities for interaction and engagement with the world around us.
Human Beings are from Nature, we have adapted to it over millions of years
Throughout history, human beings have spent more than 99,99% of their time in a natural environment. Our bodies have adapted to nature over thousands of years of evolution making Man a being of Nature. The first record of Homo Sapiens on the planet is 200,000 years ago where they lived fully immersed in their natural environment. It is only since the advent of the Agrarian age or Neolithic Revolution some 12,500 years ago that humans formed settlements abandoning their hunter gatherer way of life and more recently, the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 19th Century, only 250 years ago, that cities all over the world have become densely populated and their connection with nature greatly diminished.
How is this great change in lifestyle and the environment that surrounds us affect us?
“Involuntary attention requires no mental effort, it just comes naturally. This is the kind of attention we use when we are in nature. The soothing sights and sounds give our mental resources a break. They allow our minds to wander and to reflect, and so restore our capacity to think more clearly.”
We feel relaxed and generally good and at ease in in nature
The human body (and human genes) have evolved in close connection with nature and in adaptation to it. Might this be why being in nature leaves us feeling relaxed and at ease? A place where we literally feel at home? The entomologist Edward O. Wilson that put forward the Biophilia Hypothesis suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature, defining Biophilia as the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.
Over these past 10 generations due to living within the confines of concrete jungles we have lost our nature connection skills and have become alien to the natural world. Using simple sensory and observation skills we deepen our experience of being in nature and reap the benefits from it. Some examples of Nature Connection practices are:
- – Sit Spot – Sitting quietly in nature over a determined period of time, connecting to our senses and simply being in nature
- – Wandering – Gentle wanders through trails in nature staying connected to the present moment
- – Wildlife observation – Observing the inter relations of all beings around us
The scientific community is gaining interest in the health benefits of Nature Connection and how it is a fundamental part of our integral health. With alarming increasing rates of non communicable diseases, health professionals are having a closer look at the positive impact of nature connection practices.
Recent scientific research suggests that nature connection practices are fundamental for our wellbeing and health and health authorities like the World Health Organization Europe have issued reports that support this.