Nature: The cheapest and best life coach on earth

‘‘Appreciating the beauty of a blossom, the loveliness of a lilac, or the grace of a gazelle are all ways in which people can, in some small measure, fill their daily lives with evolutionarily inspired epiphanies of pleasure’’ Buss

It has been over 25 years since Wilson (1984) wrote Biophilia, in which he argued for an evolved inclination among humans to affiliate with nature. A substantial research base concerning biophilia has accrued within the field of environmental psychology, including the seminal work of Stephen and Rachel Kaplan and of Roger Ulrich. Supportive findings include human preference for savannah-like landscapes, favourable responses to natural environments relative to ‘‘built’’ environments, and restored cognitive functioning following immersion in nature. Wilson (1984) also spoke of an association between nature and psychological health, a position stated unequivocally by his colleague, Kellert: ‘‘The pursuit of ‘the good life’ is through our broadest valuational experience of nature’’. Experiences in nature have recently emerged as an interest within positive psychology; for example, Shiota, Keltner, and Mossman (2007) identified nature as an elicitor of awe.

Need more evidence?

Go outside during the working day and touch a tree.

Bring a beautiful leaf to work

Walk barefoot on the sand

Eat lunch in a park

Look up at the night sky

Drink Nature – Drink Water

Eat a raw carrot and marvel that it came from the earth

Be aware of the life that extinguished to put a steak on the table

Do nothing four times a day

Hold sand or dirt in your hands and imagine that it is gold

The best evidence is not Wilson (1984) or Kellert or Shiota, Keltner, and Mossman (1980). The best evidence is you, your success, love for life, giving and emotional strength. Instead of remedial therapists, try nature. It’s the cheapest and best life coach on earth.