Nature relatedness is the way an individual reacts to and connects on an emotional level with the natural environment. Research has shown people with a higher level of nature relatedness interact better with other people. They also have a more positive attitude and are happier.
Research has found a connection between a high level of nature relatedness and the ability to solve problems. People with strong nature relatedness also tend to have a high level of self acceptance and feel more satisfied with life in general. It seems nature relatedness is a stronger trait in some cultures than others. Evidence suggests nature connectedness is influenced by the experiences of early childhood.
Those with a high level of nature relatedness (sometimes called nature connectedness) value all the aspects of Nature. This means they don’t value only the ‘pretty’ aspects such as attractive animals and useful or beautiful plants. They also see the importance and value of the ‘yucky’ aspects such as maggots, mould, fleas and microorganisms. These things all play a vital part in the ecosystem and need to be appreciated for their contribution.
Those with a high level of nature relatedness feel a personal connection with Nature. They will have a need to spend quiet time in natural environments. There is a theory that humans have an innate need to interact with other living things in addition to their fellow humans. This may be why activities such as camping, hiking and visiting botanical gardens, fauna parks and zoos are so popular.
Rhinos at Monarto Zoo. Image:Marie Vonow
Nature relatedness also involves being aware of the impact humans have on Nature and the environment. People with a high level of nature connectedness will consider it their responsibility to protect and conserve the natural world in any way they can. They are more likely to belong to conservation groups and volunteer their time helping with environmental programs.
Contact with Nature makes people feel less stressed and happier. click here for more Feeling connected to Nature has further reaching effects including making people feel responsible for protecting all aspects of the natural world, not just the pretty stuff.