A Pagan's Blog

A Pagan's Blog

Nature is Good for You

It turns out that immersing ourselves
in Nature is good for us in ways that science can actually measure.  A paper published last week, “A Dose of
Nature” Jules Pretty and Jo Barton found that people’s mood
and self-esteem benefit from what it calls “green exercise.” Prof. Pretty said of his study “For the first time in the scientific
literature, we have been able to show dose-response relationships for the
positive effects of nature on human mental health.” 


Their findings applied to all ages and both genders, though there
were interesting differences among them. 
The biggest benefits applied to the mentally ill, suggesting that my
suspicion modern society may drive us crazy is well founded. 

a report on the paper, Peter Stanford writes 


The study shows, for example, that being in a green environment
is better than being in an urban one in terms of a measurable positive effect
on blood pressure, hormones and stress levels. Intriguingly, it also concludes
that the biggest beneficial boost from exposure to nature is gained within the
initial five minutes of each encounter with the great outdoors. While it
continues to reap a harvest thereafter, the crop of positives diminishes.

Snyder has written, truly I think, that the spirit of place is the total of all
the energy fields present in a place. 
Those of rocks and water, soil and air, plants, animals, fungi, people –
the whole nine yards.  This week
I’ll write another blog on things you might try in order to experience this
energy field.


Yesterday I took a long road trip
along small ridge top roads in Sonoma County, stopping frequently to take
photographs and walk around.  It
was cleansing as well as beautiful. 
Something similar happens to me when I walk from where I live into
downtown Sebastopol, for people here love to plant flowers in their front
yards, but concrete and cars still intrude jarringly at times. 

Thanks to AmericaBlog for first turning me onto this. 

Comments read comments(6)
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posted May 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Thanks for the reminder. I need to get outside more often. Sometimes the best I can do is my balcony, but ultimately, outdoor time whether urban or forest is beneficial.

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Cheryl Hill

posted May 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm

It’s easy to forget that we are as much a part of the natural world as any other living creature, and we need to be surrounded by it as much as a fish needs to be in water.
For me, working in my garden reconnects me to Nature. Having my bare hands in the soil, seeing the life within it, smelling its sweet, earthy scent and watching the plants I tend growing and thriving is my sacred time. After a hard, frustrating day of computer support I’m in desperate need to immerse myself in the breezes, textures, sounds and scents of the natural world and experience the myriad birds, insects and other assorted wildlife that call my garden their home.
If you don’t have your own property to garden, consider volunteering to help care for local parks, green spaces, or community vegetable gardens. Gardening is hard, sweaty work and willing hands are ALWAYS welcome.

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posted May 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Yeah, but it’s a shame we’re not so good for nature…

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Cheryl Hill

posted May 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

M.A., some of us are VERY good for Nature. Not only in the way we live, but in how we speak up and work in defense of Her.

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