We’ve all heard that “nature is beneficial” for our health and general well-being. But it can fall on deaf ears when we are also inundated with new diet crazes, vitamin regimens and fitness routines that also promise to change our lives as we know them. I’d like to offer three short videos based on research and neuroscience that show how exposure to nature – at little to no cost – is life altering.
While these three TedTalks are directed to adults, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to apply the principles to the lives of our children. (Look for a future post highlighting Three TedTalks About Nature Benefits for Children.) A common theme in each brief message is intentionality. As you view these, seriously consider the small amount of intentionality it would require to incorporate nature awareness as a regular discipline in your routine.
Jon Young, one of the authors of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, frames his talk on Repairing Emotional Isolation by Reawakening Deep Nature Connection with the idea of being “super-natural.” In his view, combating isolation involves awareness and connectedness of place that leads to applied mindfulness. His insights on becoming intuitive through sensory awareness, especially through the use of Sit Spots, have led me to begin this discipline on my own.
After spending time writing “nature prescriptions,” Ronna Schneberger went to Japan to study Shinrin Yoku, the art of forest bathing. As she shares her insights on how Those Who are Nature-Wise Have an Edge, she expounds on three specific ways to begin your nature-wise journey toward being energized, more focused and experiencing enhanced clarity.
Last but certainly not least in impact and importance, David Strayer shares his research in cognitive restoration through nature exposure in his talk Restore Your Brain with Nature. After teasing out the hidden and not so hidden tensions between our technology based, multitasking culture and the natural world, he shares research based benefits to prolonged nature exposure.
At Sparrow’s Nest Play, we hope to be a source of information that can “cut through” a lot of the noise and be a short cut of sorts for you that curates good resources for nature play, creation care, and just living. We hope these resources have been useful and have given you the inspiration to go outside and enjoy the natural world today.