Two films that deserve serious attention from conservation psychologists
Since I wrote "Dosing Nature: Feeling Down, Take a 3 Minute Walk 2x a Day" I've had a number of requests to publicize two hilarious and motivating videos about the importance of "getting outside" for yourself, for people with whom you associate, and for other animals including companions with whom you share your home. I just watched them again and hope you will too, and then get up, go out into nature, enjoy all of its magnificence, and also feel better about yourself, others, and the world around you. The films are Nature Rx Part 1 and Nature Rx Part 2: Discover your dose of nature.
Some take-home gems from these films include getting out into nature can relieve crippling symptoms of modern life, reduce cynicism, decrease work induced catatonia, produce spontaneous euphoria, get you to take yourself less seriously, and get you to seriously consider what the f*** you're doing with your life.
From a more serious side of what "dosing nature" is all about I recommend J. B. Mackinnon's "The Problem with Nature Therapy" about which I wrote in my previous essay. I noted that surely there will be individual differences in "how much nature" one needs to feel good or to feel better. And, I realize that not everyone will necessary benefit from getting outside and that some of the scientific studies are equivocal about what "getting outside" actually does. However, regardless of what the science says, if getting out in nature helps you along, just do it and forget about what the numbers say.
I hope that serious consideration of these two films and of the notion of "dosing nature" will open the door for new research that will be of interest to conservation and environmental psychologists. And, as I mentioned above, if getting off your bum makes you feel good, then do it as much as you can and then some.
Marc Bekoff's latest books are Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears (with Jill Robinson), Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation, Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed: The Fascinating Science of Animal Intelligence, Emotions, Friendship, and Conservation, Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence, and The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson). (Homepage: marcbekoff.com; @MarcBekoff)