Nature and Mental Well-being - Deepstash

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Urbanization and Its Toll on Mental Health

Urbanization and Its Toll on Mental Health

Living in harmony with nature has been a defining trait of human existence, but the rapid urbanization of the last century has led to a significant disconnect.

As cities continue to swell with people, the World Urbanization United Nations predicts that by 2050, nearly 66% of the global population will reside in urban areas, highlighting a growing shift away from the natural environment.

This shift has profound implications for individuals, impacting mental health in several key areas.

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Holistic Understanding: The Individual's Complex Ecosystem

Holistic Understanding: The Individual's Complex Ecosystem

The "galloping phenomenon" of intentional cognitive processes is identified as a cause of a lack of awareness.

Additionally, there is a noticeable decline in the sense of community, partly due to the breakdown of traditional family and community structures.

There is a growing alienation from nature itself, as our distance from the environment makes us feel detached.

By understanding these challenges, we can view individuals as complex ecosystems. These ecosystems consist of four interconnected areas: the body, the physical environment, experiences, and community characteristics.

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Balancing the Flow and Mindfulness

Balancing the Flow and Mindfulness

The lack of awareness, identified as a central issue by researchers, stems from a predominant focus on rational learning and problem-solving, overshadowing emotional and physical processes.

This cognitive approach, prevalent in both educational and professional settings, contributes to the disintegration of the individual's ecosystem, leading to psychosomatic illnesses.

Because of this, it is crucial to consider the mental state known as "the flow," where individuals unconsciously focus on a single task. This state is distinct from mindfulness, which involves consciously perceiving the present.

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Erosion of Community: A Consequence of Urbanization

Erosion of Community: A Consequence of Urbanization

The erosion of community belonging is another consequence of urbanization, as the shift from large family units to individual-member groups results in weakened social connections.

This lack of community has profound implications for society as a whole, impacting the sense of security, meaning, and personal growth that communities traditionally provide.

Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers proposes a solution centered on five core values: empathy, congruence, open communication, trust, and unconditional positive regard.

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Nature-Deficit Disorder: The Price of Disconnection

Nature-Deficit Disorder: The Price of Disconnection

As modern life increasingly revolves around electronic communication and digital experiences, regular encounters with tangible natural elements become essential for mental and physical harmony.

The separation from nature, compounded by the linear structure of written communication, has led to what author Richard Louv calls "nature-deficit disorder," contributing to attention disorders, obesity, and mental health issues.

Fostering a connection with nature is proposed as a healing remedy. Spending time in natural environments can lead to significant relaxation, reducing aggression and stress.

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Flow With Our Nature

Flow With Our Nature

The urban lifestyle, characterized by its fast-paced nature and digital saturation, often disconnects individuals from the grounding forces of the natural world

As skyscrapers replace horizons and screens substitute for open skies, the human psyche yearns for the replenishing touch of the earth, the soothing rustle of leaves, and the calming embrace of natural landscapes

Reconnecting with nature serves as a potent antidote to the stressors of modern life

The rhythmic ebb and flow of nature provide a counterbalance to the chaotic rhythms of urban existence, fostering a sense of calm and resilience

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References

References

  • Bowlby, J. (1980): Attachment and loss, Vol. 3: Loss, sadness and depression. London: Hogarth.
  • Fonagy, P. & Target, M. (2005) The place of psychodynamic theory in developmental psychopathology. Budapest: Gondolat Kiadó.
  • Sachs, J.D. (2015): The Age of Sustainable Development, Columbia University Press.
  • Jackson, T (2009): Prosperity without Growth, Earthscan
  • Bryant, Fred B. – Veroff, Joseph (2006): Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, Psychology Press, Hove
  • Dunbar, Robin I. M. (1998): The social brain hypothesis, Evolutionary Anthropology, Vol. 6. (5) pp 178-190

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CURATED BY

growthsarts

Public Speaking, Coaching, Counseling, Mindfulness & Autogenic Training, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Computer Engineering, Osteopathy, Traditional Chinese & Ayurvedic Medicine, Asian Languages and culture, Music & Art Therapy, Nada Yoga, Spiritualism

CURATOR'S NOTE

As the concrete jungles expand and the digital landscape continues to dominate, there is a growing realization that maintaining mental well-being requires a deliberate and mindful approach. This article endeavors to explore the profound significance of reconnecting with nature and fostering genuine connections within our communities in the context of our technologically-driven lives.

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