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We Know Nature Makes Us Happier. Now Science Says It Makes Us Kinder Too


We Know Nature Makes Us Happier. Now Science Says It Makes Us Kinder Too

Jill Suttie

I’ve been an avid hiker my whole life. From the time I first strapped on a backpack and headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I was hooked on the experience, loving the way being in nature cleared my mind and helped me to feel more grounded and peaceful.


Nature is free of the über competition for your attention, that is it is advertising free. Advertisements are designed to make you want, feel incomplete without product x, hate, spend money, borrow money, etc. Nature is also our ancestral home. I never needed scientists to explain why nature is good. Sometimes we overstudy the obvious. Perhaps these scientists should have just played hooky and taken their hikes. As a scientist/engineer, I am constantly amazed at how much the obvious is under scrutiny. I do empathize with those who live without the means to explore true nature as I have been privileged to do since my childhood. Nature is a human right.


It is nice to see scientific studies backing up something we knew is true.

Unfortunately, the big problem in my area is that few seem to want to get outdoors unless it is on a loud, smelly motorized vehicle of some sort - or if not motorized, a mountain bike. I suspect the benefits mentioned are non-existent among the redneck “quad” and dirt-bike riders and snow-mobilers (and they reduce the benefits to everyone withing earshot of the obnoxious things) and greatly reduced among the mountain-biking millennial types.

Simply walking in the woods and wild areas has become distinctly unfashionable.


I was not being sarcastic. We DO need such studies becasue a lot of popular beliefs are not true - relying on intuition alone can be dangerous.


I didn’t know that about pileated woodpeckers - I have seen them pass through my a narrow wooded hillside buffer in my back yard - but never hanging around. And yes, the suburban area I now live is actually a lot noisier from MC’s and speeding cars than the city neighborhood I lived in previously. And yes, there is always “nature” to observe wherever you are.

I use a silent electric motor scooter for most local transportation for 3/4 of the year - but the few startup businesses making them a few years ago have all gone out of business. Mine is probably the only one in all of Western Pennsylvania.


We grow into our humanness by attuning, first with our caregivers and then in ever larger circles–if we’re healthy. (If we’re not, we end up supporting Trump at rallies.) I’m looking forward to research on the part attuning, that is, attachment, has to do with this–that’s at least part of the uniting factor between the effects humans and the rest of nature have on us.


Having something measurable is absolutely necessary to all kinds of policy initiatives, including conservation of natural lands, workplace incentives, insurance coverage and the like. Kudos to the scientists who demonstrate with data derived from sophisticated investigation what many of us already grasp intuitively.


All of us who have spent time backpacking and camping and those luckily enough to head out into the deep woods and wild places where yet they remained…

Are smiling in fondness for what they have experienced and say thanks for reminding us of why we kept doing it.

Even just reading this piece was soothing lol.

Dang trumpifiers get a body all grumpified!


Sorry …feeling my inner Gabby Hayes here. But thinking about the high country woods and the sound of things when there is nothing to hear. The glorious truly glorious way the birds wake you in your sleeping bag while yet it is still dark but sunlight is brightening a bit of the sky in the east. The only alarm clock I ever liked.


I would expand upon this premise of separation… from nature.

One of the most primary drivers of patriarchy is control, management, and ownership of the natural world… and that world includes animals, women, and in the past, slave populations.

The negation of all things feminine along with the total absence of reverence for the Divine Mother principle has enabled the masculine-patriarchal logos to define human beings’ relationship to the natural world.

When the Bible tossed the lovers (Adam and Eve) out of Eden, it set up a separation not only between human beings and the natural world; it also distanced human beings from their innate natural sexual instincts. In their place, the false belief in sin was planted; and not only was it planted, that idea allowed church (patriarchal) elites to control persons for millennia.

I have LONG shared commentary that shows the analogy between how women are treated in much of the world and how that abuse extends into how Mother Nature (known as Pacha Mama throughout South America) is treated.

In order for Patriarchal Capitalism (as Vandana Shiva wisely defines it) to continue its ownership model, it must place a price on everything. By commoditizing nature, the living world is no longer perceived as such. Instead, it’s things to be priced.

This false view, this manmade claim over what belongs to Mother Nature (and all of her children, as in all human beings and other life forms) is the great sin of the white man and the Anglo-European cultures that came to the Americas and poisoned, pillaged, sacked and plundered so much.

Now, as Earth Mother begins a major cycle of cleansing, earth changes have sped up exponentially with numerous dormant volcanoes bursting, lots of earthquakes, freak waves crashing into shore, droughts in some places and mega-floods in others. And this is just the beginning…

There is not enough love and respect shown for the Great Mother Nature… and what reverberates from this wound is a very poor assessment of Life, itself. THAT is why there is such disproportionate emphasis on guns, weapons, fighting, wars, and ways to kill.

Mars has overwhelmed Venus, slaughtered his would-be beloved, and the world bleeds from this spiritual imbalance.

As I’ve often stated, capitalism is an effect of this cause. And until cause is faced and alleviated, the rest is just band-aids.


Actually, the author was a little bit off. Humans have understood the power of nature for millennia. Some humans still know this, but many have forgotten and actually think food comes from the grocery store compliments of Monsanto. This divorcing from nature has made many mean and ignorant, pretending that technological humans are the givers of life. Darwin misunderstood has become the vicious competition of raw capitalism that is anti-democratic and threatens our survival with its ‘progress’. The natural spirituality that arises freely in people immersed in nature grounds us in harmony and peace. Maybe our divorce from nature should be dubbed the Machine-Human Age, where a false, competitive instrumental ideology has displaced the ideology that can help us cooperate and live more sustainably.


This as ever been the case and it often mystifies me that there has to be scientific studies to prove what we already know.

I am often asked what places I have went to on my vacation with others speaking of Vegas or London or Hong Kong or Tokyo.

Each and every year almost without exception I go into the country and stay there,


Quite right. There one book I read which examined myth and demonstrated this to be the case. The tale of Gilamesh as example was one of man doing battle with nature so as to dominate her. The snake filled head of the Medusa represented the roots of a tree and the triumph of “Civilization” over the wildland.

In that myth of the patriarchy it suggested that unless man controls and dominates nature then nature will produce monsters that will in turn devour him.

I also noticed with interest the reaction of old Imperial Rome to the forest. Few things represent the Patriarchy like Empire and weapons of Iron yet the men in this mighty army whom had conquered the known Western world were fearful of the forest. They loathed being sent into the forests of Germany or of Celtic England as it intimidated them this in turn leading to them formulating myths about the inhabitants.

One of the first things they did on trying to colonize these areas was to remove the forests. It with some irony I note that those peoples of the forests, while knowing war , did not live war to the extent Rome did where it the focal point of their entire being , yet were seduced into the Roman ways by the technology “Civilization” provided.


Reminiscent of the Empire’s use of Agent Orange in obliterating miles and miles of primevil forest in Southeast Asia, during the American War in Vietnam,


Ask your doctor if Nature is right for you. (I’m not allowed to put in a link to an apropos video.)


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