Flourishing in nature: A review of the benefits of connecting with nature and its application as a wellbeing intervention

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Colin A. Capaldi
Holli-Anne Passmore
Elizabeth K. Nisbet
John M. Zelenski
Raelyne L. Dopko

Abstract

From the increasing number of people living in urban areas to the continued degradation of the natural environment, many of us appear to be physically and psychologically disconnected from nature. We consider the theoretical explanations and present evidence for why this state of affairs might result in suboptimal levels of hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing by reviewing the large body of research on the mental health benefits of connecting with nature. The advantages of contact with nature as a potential wellbeing intervention are discussed, and examples of how this research is being applied to reconnect individuals to nature and improve wellbeing are given. We conclude by considering the limitations of, and proposing future directions for, research in this area. Overall, evidence suggests that connecting with nature is one path to flourishing in life.

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