Nature Makes Us Feel More 'Alive' but What Are We Giving Back?

Kithira, Island of Aphrodite- Greece. Photograph by Olivia Nigro.

It is a curious Western phenomenon that truths humankind have experienced and documented for thousands of years do not exist until proven by science.

Scientific evidence of the restorative benefits of nature is now beginning to emerge.

Being in nature is seen to have a profound impact on our brain and behaviour. It seems this helps us to reduce anxiety, brooding and stress, increasing our attention capacity, creativity, ability to connect with others and possibly to be kind as an article by Jill Suttie in Yes! Magazine points out.

Nature lovers everywhere, including myself, will rejoice that nature's preciousness is finally being recognised by science.

Who could doubt the transformative power of nature and its capacity to evoke joy and 'aliveness' gazing at the ancient island of Aphrodite at sunset?

In the words of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh;

When your foot touches the Earth with awareness, you make yourself alive and the Earth real.

(How to Walk - Mindfulness & Zen in Daily Life - Parallax Press)

But our way of walking on the earth is far from respectful. Thich Nhat Hahn also urges us to wake up from the dream that is destroying the planet and "hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying".

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