Do you ever wonder why a nature trip gives a dose of positivity in life? A recent study has found people suffering from insecurities may gain more confidence and live a happier and healthier life by spending more time outdoors.
In a study carried out by scientists at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, it was found that experiencing natural environments has a link with people’s perception of their bodies. To come up with this conclusion, the researchers led by Social Psychology Professor Viren Swami looked into 199 women and 200 men aged between 19 and 76 from the US. Participants were asked to answer an online survey to score how strongly they agreed on various statements about their body image.
A series of statements such as ‘When I see good-looking people, I wonder about how my own looks measure up’, ‘I respect my body’, and ‘I often check my appearance in a mirror just to make sure I look okay’ were given to the participants to rate on a five-point scale.
Moreover, the participants were also asked a range of questions regarding their exposure to nature in everyday life as well as their connection to the natural environment.
Based on their findings, there were clear links between how much participants appreciated their bodies and their exposure to natural environment.
According to Professor Swami, spending more time outside help people develop a sense of ownership of their physical selves. This allows people to give a greater respect for their bodies and gain a better understanding of what our bodies can do rather than focus on what they look like.
“Spending time in nature also seems to promote better self-esteem and feelings of connection to nature. When we feel part of a larger ecosystem requiring protection, we may be more likely to take steps to protect our bodies from harmful effects,” said Professor Swami.
However, Professor Swami also mentioned the possibility that people who felt more confident about their bodies tend to seek out nature. If more studies could confirm their findings, Professor Swami said hiking or camping therapies could help treat people with negative body image issues.
Nature Has a Positive Impact on a Person’s Well-Being
According to an article published at the American Psychological Association, nature has a positive effect on a person’s mental functioning, social relationships and physical well-being.
Based on the findings of various research, exposure to nature restores mental clarity and heals the body.