Newborns and Nature

How can newborns benefit from being introduced to nature?

It is widely known that incorporating nature into the lives of adults can help increase mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Most studies focus on age groups from childhood through the elderly. But can newborns and infants benefit from being introduced to nature at such a young age? Research has found that newborns can benefit from nature in similar ways to older age groups. In addition, aspects of nature may be able to facilitate the acquisition of certain skills which older people have already developed. 

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How Nature has Affected Me

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I believe that there are many ways that nature can affect a person. I have had the privilege of being shaped by nature since a young age. Ever since I was young I got the opportunity to participate with my mother in gardening. This helped me and her bond at a young age and helped me start using nature as a form of destressing from school.

Nature also was a place that I wanted to explore. In my own backyard, in campus going to the Japan House and Idea Garden, and studying abroad seeing the forest in the middle of Ecuador.

Being outside also gave me the opportunity to also start to better my lifestyle as I ate what I planted and I ran outside to clear my mind. This allowed me to loose about 100 lbs in 2-3 years. Overall, being outside has had many advantages in my life, and I believe that it has been the same situation with many other people. This is why I want to increase the comfortableness of people in nature and the exposuredness.

Movie in Nature: Life of Pi

Life of Pi (2012) is an inspirational movie involving a man, Pi Patel, being stranded on a boat with a large Bengal tiger named Richard parker. The movie starts off with Pi living in India with his family at their zoo. The family decides to sell their zoo and move to Canada. During the move, a large storm strikes their boat resulting in many lives lost. Pi, with the tiger, are the only survivors. As you watch this movie, you will see Pi develop a relationship with this tiger, who at first Pi feared. This movie is eye opening, dramatic, and influential. Pi goes through a spiritual awakening while stranded at sea. This move incorporates the importance of humans, animals and nature in life.

Movies in Nature: The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings (2001) movies are known for their amazing use of nature to enhance the storyline. These movies follow a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins as he journeys to destroy a magic ring he inherited from his older cousin Bilbo Baggins. It is a race against time to destroy the ring as dark forces who know the true powers of the ring are on a mission to reclaim it. Hobbits live in a fictional land called the Shire and are known to have a green thumb which is represented by the lush greenery that fills every inch of the Shire. We see their positive relationship with nature in the way they care for their land and it is contrasted by scenes of the dark and barren lands where the dark forces dwell. It is interesting to see how the “villains” of the story are characterized to have a poor relationship with nature while the “good guys” live in a flourishing, green garden. All three of the movies were filmed in New Zealand and feature spectacular landscapes. If you’re someone with an interest in films that feature nature, check out these films!

Movies in Nature: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

How does a movie about a thrilling daydreaming exploration sound?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) is a movie about Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) and him changing his life, which occurred through adventures in nature. Walter Mitty is an employee at the Life magazine, and he spends his days developing photos. His days consist of repetitive tasks, so Walter inhabits a world of thrilling daydreams in which he is the hero. After many troubles with the magazine, he gets a chance to have a real adventure when Life’s new owners send him on a journey to obtain the perfect photo for the final print issue. Throughout the movie, Walter explores some gorgeous, rugged landscapes in search of Sean Penn’s photographer character. It is a tour of different parts of nature, which has Iceland stand in for both Greenland and the Himalayas. It has scenes from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Skogafoss waterfall, and the mountainous Vatnajökull National Park. The nature around him plays a critical role in his journey and shapes the person he becomes. If you are interested in various nature scenes, adventures, and a thrilling daydreaming exploration, then this is the movie for you!