Experiencing Connection With Nature: The Matrix of Psychological Well-Being, Mindfulness, and Outdoor Recreation
AbstractEcopsychological theory and practice underscore the vital importance of realizing the interdependence between human beings and the diverse living universes that they inhabit. This article focuses on the mental health implications of the shift toward a more ecologically rooted identity by examining relationships between psychological well-being and the personal experience of connection with nature. Three separate surveys conducted with undergraduate and community samples assessed relationships between the Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS), psychological well-being, mindfulness, and outdoor recreation. Higher CNS scores were consistently associated with greater trait mindfulness, more participation in appreciative outdoor activities, and higher scores on multiple measures of both hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of psychological well-being. Discussion focuses on informing optimal strategies for nature-based interventions.