Nature's help for better mental health

The global situation involves a triple crisis: biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution, accompanied by rising worries about people's physical and mental health. Nature provides essential services like pollination and crop growth, as well as intangible benefits such as quality of life, well-being, and happiness. Access to green spaces and exposure to biodiversity-rich environments contribute to well-being. The quality of engagement with nature matters more than frequency or duration. Meaningful interactions with nature have a greater impact on well-being and fostering pro-environmental behaviors.
Previous research identifies five paths to feeling connected to nature: contact, beauty, meaning, emotion, and compassion. Studies demonstrate that simply acknowledging three positive nature elements, like colorful leaves or bird songs, can boost mood and well-being.
Incorporating nature-noticing techniques, which focus on emotional and sensory engagement with nature, into citizen science projects can enhance the benefits for volunteers. This highlights the importance of public policy promoting a 'one health' approach that encourages communities to observe and track local biodiversity. This approach recognizes the interdependence of human and ecosystem health.

Source: European Commission