The transpersonal psychology and its’ emergence in 1970’s brought about an awareness on relationships while Jung’s theory conceptualized archetype with synchronicity.  Many environment writers expressed the relationship between nature and human beings.1 Ecopsychology takes cognizance of the engrossment in mother nature and its relationship to wellbeing and compliments the already explored concepts in sync with psychology.  Immersion in nature can undo the many negative stereotype about oneself, like, gender minority, unempowered women, power dynamics, relinquishing impression management for women.2

While “the birth of the environmental movement…………is typically dated to the virtual explosion of interest that attended the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’, which served to raise and galvanize the public concern over environmental issues,3 the environmental movement “the largest political cause ever undertaken by the human race”4 had an enduring contribution. Roszak(1992) theorized ecopsychology as a synergistic interplay between planetary and psychological wellbeing, Glendinning (1994) posited that personal is planetary and planetary is personal, Clinebell(1996) opined that persons can be healed by healing the earth and vice versa; Albeita healthy psyche and healthy ecosystem are inseparable (Gomes, Leupold & Albracht,   1998) and preserving  health of planet earth is like preserving health of human beings (Swanson, 1995), while diminishing self and mother nature are processes that are reciprocal (Fisher, 1996). The Gaia paradigm beautifully picturizes the complex yet synergistic and self-regulating system on planet earth (Lovelock, 1991; Capra, 1996), the other affected global variables through the evolution of the biosphere and its organisms wherein “the climate and chemical composition of the Earth’s surface environment is, and has been, regulated in a state tolerable for the biota.”5

Immersion in Nature and its’ effect on human beings

Natural settings and immersion as such, improved women and had a positive effect on body image perceptions in the cultural context, embodied experience and supportive connection to nature (Hennigan, 2010).  As E. O. Wilson rightly pointed the idea of ‘Half-Earth,’ arguing the complex life, its’ continuous dependency on the planet and the importance of protecting half the earth’s surface from the likes of people, no-take protection, and sustainable use, human beings are in dire need of immersing in nature for wellbeing. 

The European Centre for environment and human health study led by Mathew White on 20000 people, established that people who spent two hours, at once or in a spaced out way, a week in a natural environment, substantially reported good health and emotional wellbeing more than their counterparts who did not spent time in natural environment (Robbins, 2020). Psychological studies found out that gardening stimulated reflective processes, thereby throwing insight into illnesses; exposure to nature and stimulated sensory perception, created calmness, improved mood and pro social behavior fostering sense of community, belonging, shared purpose, reduced isolation and offered a temporary relief or distraction from unpleasant thoughts from the sterile hospital setting (Pieters, Ayala, Schneider, Wicks, Levine-Dickman, & Clinton, 2019).

Nature and its’ multiple roles

As a Supporter: The natural processes like photosynthesis, soil creation, cycling of nutrients, pollination amongst many others keep the ecosystem healthy and functioning. 

As a Provider: Direct products of ecosystem like livestock, fruits, vegetables, food, seafood, fish, drinking water, plants, clothes from plants, medicines, raw materials, minerals, energy etc.

As a regulator: natural occurrences in ecosystems, sustainable and resilient ecosystems like decomposition of waste, pollination, controlling pest population, prevent erosion, and the like.

As a cultural enhancer: human wellbeing, recreational activities, influencing artists and the folklore.

Mother Nature and wellbeing

“A walk in nature, walks the soul back home” …. Mary Davis

Nature can awaken our senses, provide clarity and be the best healer, creating positivity, and coping abilities generating emotional balance, solution focused and resilient approach to human beings if the human beings have a strong relationship with the Mother Nature. Humans have a deep-rooted relationship with nature, our ancestors lived in wild landscapes and had feelings of positivity (Ulrich, 1984), meanwhile,

artificial environment creates stress, depression, cardiac diseases, and obesity (Ulrich & Simons, 1986). Kaplan theory (1989) of attention restoration posits that natural environment enhances voluntary and involuntary attention, the soft fascinations like flowers, gentle sunshine and the breeze, and effortless immersion restores us the mental energy and attention.

In conclusion, the take away message is that, Immersing in mother nature, observing her, appreciating her sincerely is healing and therapeutic, enhances learning from surroundings, gives a better perception about a healthier life, motivation and energy.

Through the growing supporting research, and ecopsychology, it is evident that we need to immerse, in mother nature, for our wellbeing, save mother nature for sustainability, education and awareness towards this aspect can enable to protect and save mother earth, to show love for the environment we live in.


  1. Greenway, 2021, p2
  2. Holloway, Murray, Okada &Emmons, 2014, pp1-2
  3. Fox 1995, p4
  4. Roszak, 1995a, p1
  5. Lovelock, 1989, p. 215

Judith A. Holloway, Joan Murray, Rumiko Okada & Alexandra L. Emmons (2014) Ecopsychology and Relationship Competency: The Empowerment of Women Graduate Students Through Nature Experiences, Women & Therapy, 37:1-2, 141-154, DOI: 10.1080/02703149.2014.850343

Fox, W. 1995. Toward a transpersonal ecology. Albany: SUNY Press.

Roszak, T. 1995a. Where psyche meets Gaia. In Ecopsychology: Restoring the earth, healing the mind, edited by T. Roszak, M. Gomes, and A. Kanner. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

Lovelock,J.E.1972. “Gaia as seen through the atmosphere”. Atmospheric Environment. 6 (8):579–580. Bibcode:1972AtmEn…6..579Ldoi:10.1016/0004-6981(72)90076-5.

Lovelock, J. E. 1991. Healing Gaia. New York: Harmony Books.

Capra, F. 1996. The web of life: A new scientific understanding of living systems. New York: Anchor Books. The Trumpeter 48

Glendinning, C. 1994. My name is Chellis& I’m in recovery from Western civilization. Boston: Shambhala

Clinebell, H. 1996. Ecotherapy: healing ourselves, healing the earth. Minneapolis, NM: Fortress Press.

Gomes, M., S. Leupold, and M. Albracht. 1998. Advertising, community, and self: A qualitative analysis. ReVisio 20(4): 426–36

Fisher, A. 2002. Radical ecopsychology: Psychology in the service of life. Albany: SUNY Press.

Swanson, J. 1995. The call for Gestalt’s contribution to ecopsychology: Figuring in the environmental field. The Gestalt Journal XVIII (1): 47–85.

Hennigan, K. 2010. Therapeutic potential of time in nature: Implications of body image in women, Ecopsychology, 2(3),

Robbins, J. 2020. Ecopsychology: How immersion in nature benefits your health, YaleEnvironment360, Yale School of Environment,

Pieters, H.C., Ayala, L., Schneider, A., Wicks, N., Levine-Dickman, A., Clinton, S. 2019. Gardening on a psychiatric inpatient unit: Cultivating recovery, Archives of Psychiatric nursing, Vol. 33(1).

Dr Sindhu Shantha Nair

Educator & Consultant 

The writer is an educator in Christ University; Freelance Consultancy in Management, Research and HRM; Career Counselor, Coach and Mentor, NLP & Strength scope practitioner

Related post


Dr Helen:
Associate Professor &
Head of The Department of Environmental Science

Mother Nature: Immersion, ecopsychology and wellbeing

Dr Sindhu Shantha Nair :
Educator & Consultant

Ancient Indian practices in modern society for Sustainability

Dr. Soumya Mahesh:
Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental Science

Our programs aim at improving livelihood through transformative programs and effective campaigns to help make a difference in society.

Registered Address

113, 2nd Cross, 4th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560034

Operating Address

10, Sirur Park Rd, Jai Bheema Nagar,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560020
Tel: +91 82177 37323
Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Our programs aim at improving livelihood through transformative programs and effective campaigns to help make a difference in society.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters