A Simple Way to Feel More Connected to Others

A Simple Way to Feel More Connected to Others

After several decades of study and practice within various domains in psychology, if I had to name the most important think I’d learned it’s that … other people matter!

Connectedness, relationships, belonging … these are THE MOST important contributors to health and wellbeing, happiness and longevity.

Many of us, however, could improve the way we foster and develop our connectedness; which is why I’m sharing this article by Natalie Kerr from Psychology Today …

Mounting evidence shows that exposure to nature—walking through the woods, observing a beautiful sunset, or simply tending to a plant—improves our psychological and physical health. Nature is also good for our social well-being.

Indeed, being in nature seems to orient us toward greater concern for and connection with others. In a study from the University of Rochester, researchers asked participants to watch a slideshow of either natural or human-made environments and then complete a questionnaire assessing their values. Participants who were exposed to nature were more likely to endorse other-related values (connectedness and community), and less likely to endorse self-focused values (fame and wealth), than participants exposed to human-made environments. In a separate study, the same researchers found that participants who were immersed in nature were more generous with their money than other participants. These results suggest that nature can make us less focused on ourselves, and more caring toward others.

Nature also strengthens our sense of social connection, even when we’re experiencing it alone. Researchers from the University of British Columbia instructed college students to be mindful of either the natural or human-built objects they encountered in their everyday lives for two weeks, and to record how these objects made them feel. At the end of the two weeks, students who paid attention to natural objects (like the rosebushes they passed on their way to class) had a stronger sense of connectedness and prosocial orientation than students who paid attention to lifeless objects.

Why does being in nature increase our concern for and perceived connection with others? Researchers are not sure, but there are at least two possibilities…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE