Science Shows That Nature Can Make Children Happy

Happy children make happy adults
Happy children make happy adults

It’s no secret that, as humans, we’re naturally inclined to feel better when we’re spending time in nature, be it a simple afternoon walk in the park or a full-on weekend hiking trip with our families. And the benefits go way beyond simply making us “feel good” since research has provided concrete evidence time and again about the many health benefits we get from simply being with nature, such as taking away our stress and helping us think clearly.

Unsurprisingly, the same can be said for children since it can help impact eco-friendly behaviors. But it doesn’t stop there because a recent research explored how nature can make children happy, all while making them feel “at home” and much more connected.

With the findings published Wednesday in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, this apparent kinship with nature has been defined by the researchers as a "characteristic of human beings that refers to thinking and feeling emotionally connected with all the elements of the natural environment, with feeling happier as a consequence."

As such, the researchers then made nearly 300 children in a Mexican city classroom, aged 9 to 12, respond to a questionnaire that measured their happiness, link to nature and eco-friendly behaviors.

From there, the researchers were able to find children who are very connected to nature, as shown by feeling pleasure when hearing the sounds of nature, helping other people and engaging in acts of altruism, Furthermore, these children also actively cared for the environment, and saved water, reused objects and even encouraged recycling. Additionally, these children also said that they’re more likely to believe in equality among socioeconomic conditions, races and sex, as well as scoring high on the happiness scale.

"They are future consumers of products, entrepreneurs, decision-makers, workers, and depending on the environmental education received, their connection with nature, environmental awareness and environmental values are the future of the environment, too," Laura Barrera-Hernández, author of the study and professor at the Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora in Mexico, said.

And it’s not just kids since previous studies have already proven that spending even just a few minutes in nature can help make you feel better. Isn’t that what we all want?

Happy children make happy adults Happy children make happy adults

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