Previous research has demonstrated that brief contact with the natural environment can boost feelings of connectedness with nature (nature relatedness) and mood. Less is known about whether mindful awareness of nature improves outdoor experiences, however. We tested the possibility that mindfulness instruction would enhance mood during nature exposure in an urban setting. Participants (n = 100) were randomly assigned to a 20 min guided walk outdoors, outdoors with mindfulness, or indoors. Participants who walked outdoors reported substantially more nature relatedness and better moods than those who walked indoors. Participants who also received mindfulness training reported greater awareness of their surroundings, stronger connectedness with nature, and less negative affect, even compared to outdoor walkers without mindfulness instruction. However, mindfulness did not produce significantly more positive affect outdoors in nearby nature. Results suggest that mindfulness may enhance some beneficial effects of nature exposure.

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Carleton University Happiness Lab

Nisbet, E.K. (Elizabeth K.), Zelenski, J, & Grandpierre, Z. (Zsuzsa). (2019). Mindfulness in Nature Enhances Connectedness and Mood. Ecopsychology, 11(2), 81–91. doi:10.1089/eco.2018.0061