Nature

The importance of nature

What is nature?

In its widest sense, nature constitutes all physical things that are not human-made. This means that the entire planet and all of its bio-systems which support life are to be considered part of nature. As the heat energy we derive from the sun is part of the natural order, it – as well as the rest of the physical universe – should properly be considered to be a part of nature. Generally speaking, people will refer to the natural world as living environments – known as biomes – whereas the human-made environment is not. That said, nature can be found everywhere, and you will see numerous examples of it in cities with anything from the presence of foxes to the growth of moss being just two instances of it. Humans are a part of the natural order, but a distinction is often made that separates us, usually so that human activity is not confused with that of the rest of the natural world.

 Why is nature called mother?

Mother Nature is a generic term for the personification of the natural world. Sometimes Mother Earth or Earth Mother are used instead, but the idea is the same. Such embodiment of the natural environment has been going on since Roman times, and it is largely associated with pagan traditions that continued throughout the Middle Ages. In Greek mythology, Gaia was the goddess who most closely resembled Mother Earth. Similar concepts were in use by native Americans, including Mama Pacha, an Inca term.

Can nature help depression?

Yes, it can. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that getting out and about in the natural environment can raise spirits, help to ward off feelings of anxiety and even lift people out of depressive states. In particular, walking around in wooded areas is known to have a significant effect on mood. When you are out in the sun for a period during the day, your body is able to absorb the vitamins it needs to help it function properly. How this works with respect to mental well-being is not yet fully understood, but the research all points in the same direction. Being in nature can only benefit you even if it is for short periods.

What does nature versus nurture mean?

This is a common term that many psychologists use to describe how much we are a product of our environment and how much we are a product of our genetic backgrounds. Many theories exist around child development, for example, which focus on the early interactions we have and how that affects behaviour in later life. Some argue that childhood attachments help to keep us grounded and feeling safe while others state that nature plays a bigger part in our upbringing and that we cannot always escape our inherited traits.

How can we safeguard nature?

Many people are worried about the natural world. Environmentalists have long argued that important habitats and species need to be protected. Global climate change will have a significant impact on nature unless it is kept to a minimum. Recycling, using clean forms of energy and reducing consumption is likely to be the keys to safeguarding the natural environment for future generations.

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