Nature helps us cope with body image ‘threats’

Study first to show how natural environments keep negative feelings at bay

A new study has found that being in nature helps people deal with negative body image by removing some of the triggers of body image anxiety, such as the focus on social media, and strengthening coping mechanisms to keep negative feelings in perspective.

The summary of THIS study

My quick thoughts:

  1. It seems to be time away from social media & exposure to unrealistic body types that provides the benefit rather than nature per se – or at-least that’s the easiest part to prove scientifically. Nature is a detox from real life. Or at least a detox from the non-real parts of real life. But the natural environment is real life, really. Is real life then a retox from nature. 😉
  2. The study found that time in nature help with ‘Rational Acceptance’. Being in the natural environment helps you accept things rationally. We could all do with some of that.
  3. One takeaway for our groups is that it attributes ‘feeling of time passing more slowly‘ to helping with rational acceptance’ We introduced a ‘timeline of the natural world’ with kids last year where they marked out on the forest floor a to-scale version of the natural history of the world. From ‘the beginning’ to the extinction of the dinosaurs to humans. Our insignificance stopped them in their tracks. We can really expand on this exercise in the Alps.
  4. Time drenched in and appreciating natural beauty can only help one appreciate their own natural beauty. Outdoor educators can really help here by helping people appreciate just now amazing the natural world is. The infinite complexity behind the beauty.
  5. My summary. Not feeling great. GET TO THE WOODS and go from there.

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