Spending time in nature may help ease stressful feelings

2/19/2021
Pandemic got you down? A little nature could help. A team of researchers suggest that pandemic hasn't decreased the power of nature to improve mental well-being.

The study indicates that the participants in general reported greater stress levels during the pandemic, individuals with a harmony-with-nature worldview were coping better regardless of whether they lived.

"Thinking about the natural world in an interconnected and harmonious way corresponds to improved psychological health, no matter where you are," said researcher Brian W. Haas from the University of Georgia.

For the study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, the team used a survey in US and Japan to measure worldviews on nature as well as how much the pandemic impacted people's lives, and their current psychological health.

The survey sought to gauge whether the participants had a worldview in harmony with nature -- being in tune or connected with the natural world, or a worldview of mastery over nature -- the belief that people have the ability to control the natural world.

They also reported on their stress levels and were asked if the Covid-19 pandemic has affected them personally or impacted their employment or finances.

"Clearly there's great need for study as relates to the pandemic, not just now during Covid, but also of previous pandemics and for possible future pandemics," said researcher Fumiko Hoeft from the University of Connecticut.

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