Trent University student, Lisa Tejpar, asks: Can being grateful for nature make us happier?

When was the last time you were thankful for the birds singing, the bees buzzing, or the winds howling?

These days, our minds are constantly racing, full of busy thoughts and to-do lists that we forget to

PAUSE,

Be PRESENT, and

Appreciate all of the wonderful thing around us!!

Sometimes, we forget to be grateful for what we have – even when we spend time in nature.

Trent University student, Lisa Tejpar is a Masters candidate in Psychology. She is working with Dr. Lisa Nisbet to explore this concept.

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For Lisa’s Master’s thesis, she designed a research study that will test whether being grateful for nature, including appreciating the wonders of plants, water and wildlife might improve our overall well-being.

Lisa’s research examined the relationships between several traits, including:

  • gratitude;
  • mindfulness;
  • nature-relatedness; and
  • well-being.

She conducted a 7-day experiment to compare the effects of three different interventions to see whether being mindfully attentive in nature can increase well-being and nature-connectedness.

This is an important study because Lisa and Dr. Nisbet hypothesize that being grateful for our natural environment can increase our desire to protect it.

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Sometimes, even when we are outdoors, our minds are so full that we don’t become mindfully connected to nature.

We forget to pay attention to the beauty, complexity and wonder of it!

This Trent University duo is looking for more ways to motivate people to spend more time outside and how it can provide many convenient and cost-effective ways to improve our mental health.

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Thank you for conducting this project – and the next time you are outside, think about pausing, reflecting, and appreciating and saying “thank you” to nature!

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