A new analysis has found that the different ways in which people interact with the natural world can significantly predict their overall quality of life.
The researchers, from three universities, found that six factors of engagement with nature predicted participants' general well-being. PsychCentral lists them as follows: social and cultural events [related to nature]; trust in governance; access to local wild resources; sense of place; outdoor recreation; and psychological benefits from time outdoors. Of these, "trust in governance," or the view someone takes of how the land they are on is "managed," was the most significant predictor.
Lead author Kelly Biedenweg says the study authors "wanted to identify the relative importance of diverse, nature-oriented experiences on a person’s overall life satisfaction assessment and statistically prove the relationship between happiness/life satisfaction and engaging with nature in many different ways." Their results support both hypotheses.