Library Dissertation Showcase

A Study to Investigate the Influence of Nature on Life Satisfaction and Happiness

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

The relationship between humans and nature is being compromised by the rapid development of the modern world which is having a detrimental effect on the planet and survival of other species and ecosystems. Previous research has discovered many benefits of nature on physical and mental health. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the impact of exposure and connectedness to nature on two specific aspects of well-being (subjective happiness and life satisfaction), and whether mindfulness can strengthen the relationship between nature and well-being. Participants (n = 212) completed an online questionnaire investigating exposure to nature, connectedness to nature, subjective happiness, life satisfaction and five facets of mindfulness. Bivariate correlations indicated that all variables had significant, positive relationships. The overall multiple linear regression models showed a significant predictive value of nature and mindfulness on subjective happiness and life satisfaction. However, exposure to nature was more consistent in predicting subjective happiness and life satisfaction than connectedness to nature. Mindfulness also indicated a stronger predictive value than exposure to nature and connectedness to nature. A mediation analysis showed that mindfulness significantly mediated the relationship between exposure to nature and connectedness to nature on subjective happiness and life satisfaction. However, connectedness to nature was not a significant mediator of exposure to nature and subjective happiness, and life satisfaction. These results strengthen findings from previous literature, as well as offer new insights into the effects of nature on specific areas of well-being and the role mindfulness can play in this relationship. This research can pave the way towards incorporating nature into school settings, work environments and home-life. As a result, this may strengthen people’s relationship with nature, thus helping the planet to heal and thrive too.

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