Sustainable Living

Why “Ecowellness” Could Be the Secret to a Whole New Level of Health

Tehrene Firman

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Photo: Getty Images/Tony Anderson
Over the years, countless studies have shown just how much spending time in nature can affect your overall health and well-being, whether that's improving your mood or strengthening your immune system. And now there's a simple word that perfectly bundles up all the benefits of spending time outdoors: ecowellness.

According to a study published in the Journal of Humanistic Counseling, the concept of ecowellness "encompasses a sense of appreciation, respect, and awe of nature that can contribute to holistic wellness." In a big way, too. Researchers studied 749 participants between 19 and 84 years old, looking at the relationships between ecowellness measures and overall wellness. They found that having a relationship with nature—whether through spending more time outdoors or being passionate about the environment—was linked with helping participants more effectively work through challenges, be more creative, and stay physically healthy.

Having a relationship with nature is linked with helping participants more effectively work through challenges, be more creative, and stay physically healthy.

In this particular study, researchers found ecowellness could greatly benefit those in counseling, but it seems to be a beneficial aspect of holistic wellness for anyone. "This study provides additional insight into the possible importance of helping clients identify nature-based activity through which they can feel effective and more whole, including making a positive difference on the planet," study co-author Ryan F. Reese, PhD, said in a press release.

Now that it's getting warmer outside, there's no better time to make ecowellness part of your own life. Go hiking on the weekends, take trips to otherworldly places on your bucket list, and research ways to help combat global warming. Whatever the case may be, that connection could benefit your life in more ways than one.

Yes, you can totally sleep in nature, and here are eight dreamy places to do so. And if you can't spend time outdoors as often as you'd like, don't worry: Here are five easy ways to bring nature indoors.

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