Everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
I saw the opening quote from Anne Lamott on LinkedIn and it really resonated with me. It's a great quote today, since this week or next is spring break for a lot of people. It's a great time to unplug and connect to nature and relax.
Studies show that nature connectedness or NC has many benefits such as improved positive affect, decreased physiological and psychological
stress responses, and it helps reduce attentional fatigue, thus improving cognitive functioning. And, it just feels good. What psychologists call hedonic well-being.
A recent meta-analysis has discovered something more about nature connectedness. People who are more connected to nature tend to have greater eudaimonic well-being. What's eudaimonic well-being?
Eudaimonia is a type of well-being that describes a life well-lived or human flourishing. It is an orientation toward growth, authenticity, meaning and excellence. Contrast that with hedonic well-being, or just feeling good—what the psychologists call positive affect.
A popular scale for measuring eudaimonic well-being includes the following dimensions or subscales:
The researchers found that that people who are connected to nature are in fact more likely to be flourishing and functioning well psychologically. And they discovered a surprise.
The surprise finding.
While each subscale was associated with eudaimonic well-being, the personal growth subscale had the largest effect size. This is huge for those of us in the personal and leadership development arenas.
This finding raises the possibility that our relationship with nature may have a particularly important role in furthering psychological growth and development. That subscale is specifically concerned with self-realization and is akin to Maslow’s concepts of self-actualization and self-transcendence.
The authors say, "The sense of awe felt in nature could lead to an expansion in individuals’ mental structures and frames of reference, as well as an expanded sense of self, and so foster personal growth. This would be consistent with Frederickson’s broaden and build theory of positive emotions."
So, while spring break in and of itself may not boost your eudaimonic well-being, getting out in nature this spring break just might be one way to boost yours.
Have a great spring break, and...
Have an amazing journey today!
Alan Mikolaj is a coach and leadership development consultant with 15+ years of experience. He is passionate about helping leaders transform their leadership, their teams, and their organizations. Impactful, professional approach driven by a passion for meaning and purpose, a growth mindset, and a commitment to excellence and service in order to drive change and results.
Alan maintains the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), including the standards regarding confidentiality. You can learn more about them on the ICF website.
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
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