Essay Example on The Role of Nature in Improving the Health of A Population Analysis

Published: 2023-12-05
Essay Example on The Role of Nature in Improving the Health of A Population Analysis
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Population Nature Community health Sustainable development
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1809 words
16 min read

It is said that everything that is, had a beginning and that any given journey starts with a single step. The entirety of the book is set in this first chapter. Titled ‘Setting the scene and how to read the book, this chapter stamps an incredible introduction to not only what the book is about, but also the massive correlation that exists between humanity and nature. The first sentence, ‘for virtually all our development, humans have been dependent on nature,’ immediately affirms that nature is indeed the mother of all humanity. The chapter further demonstrates the interdependence that exists between us and nature, drawing on the line of the inevitability of the consequences of our actions on nature. By touching on the changing disease disorder patterns across the globe, environmental change, sustainability, and public health, the authors create firm grounds for the exploration of the interaction between humanity and our environment.

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Further, the chapter subscribes to its title by taking an overview of every section of the book. In a brief synopsis, the chapter highlights the title, author, and the about of each section of the book. This is done from section 1; why nature is a health factor, to section 10 that addresses ways to bring nature into public health actions. Every chapter is highlighted, along with a brief outline of what it covers. Reading through each of the synapses, one can have an idea of what to expect in each of them. The chapters unfold like a movie trailer, which in the real sense, details more than a mere title. The chapter is concluded with a firm statement on the importance of nature to human health. Citing the last paragraph of Charles Darwin's theory, the chapter calls to attention the critical importance of assertiveness in human behavior regarding our environment.

Reading through the chapter, one cannot fail to realize several dominant issues that pop above all else. Among these is the critical fact that there exists an inevitable interdependence between humanity and nature. In multiple ways, the chapter highlights how nature facilitates our existence and how we, in turn, foster nature’s existence. Offsetting this balance is pointed out as an actual cause for the various catastrophic changes in climate, environment, and disease patterns across the globe.

Another is that the sustainability of the currently existing green spaces and areas depends on humanity. Added to this responsibility comes consequences for either way that humanity decides to go. Sustaining the environment guarantees humanity a chance at the currently available room for outdoor activities in preurban areas, social interaction in green spaces such as parks, and an overall provision by nature to our very core of existence. In a firm conclusion statement, the authors point out that it is our due responsibility as human beings to popularize, act upon, and ensure an awareness of the importance of nature to public health. Most importantly, it is upon us to make sustainable development goals that will ensure peaceful coexistence with nature.

Chapter 1.4; The Physiology of Stress and Stress Recovery

As early as in the first quarter of the 1900s, scientists were studying the responsive behaviors of cells and body organs to external stimuli. All this in a strive to better understand how and why the human body reacts in the manner it does to particular effects. In similar pursuits, one Han Selye, in the 1950s, conceptualized the adaptive response of organisms to both external and internal threats. It was his theoretical prescriptions that gave birth to the foundations of stress as we know it today. Further advancements in the fields of neuroscience, genetics, molecular biology, and endocrinology have given the further advanced detail of stress.

Among the variations of stress, are the stressors, the various factor that constitutes the type, quality, and impact of a stressor on an organism, the response mechanism, and the recovery process. Credible scientific evidence points out the capacity of stress to cause other disorders such as peptic ulcers, inflammation, as well as cardiovascular problems that might lead to death. The inception, conduction, and even regulation of stress come dependent on both genetic and environmental variations between humans. How well one interacts with the environment contributes to the development of neuroendocrine adaptations and cognitive abilities relevant to the handling of stress and stressors. Early interventions that nurture neurovascular developments are critical to developing a system strong enough to fight stress before it erupts into more dangerous conditions.

Looking through this chapter, the actuality of stress as a killer and an issue demanding attention comes to life. It is clear that there are a variety of variations to the type of stressors, their respective magnitude, mediators, and responses to stressors. How well the brain handles stressors spells the difference between overcoming and succumbing to stress and the resultant health risks and problems.

The brain’s defense mechanism is identifiably developed and strengthened over time with various mediations. The earlier these mediations come, the stronger the defense system is created. More often than not, the question remains to be the sustainability of these interventions if humanity is to manage to work through stress and not succumbing to it. More often than not, people see psychiatrists that help them work through the stressors. But long before one gets there, nature provides consolation in beauty, peace, and a warm embrace to its ambiance. Interaction with the environment is indeed a proven way to handle stress.

With our current deterioration of the environments around us, however, how well will we handle a rough day at work or a massive financial strain if there are no parks to walk through and think it through?

Chapter 1.5; Unifying Mechanisms; Nature Deficiency, Chronic Stress, And Inflammation

Chronic stress is the result of reduced or weak resilience and coping mechanisms to stress. It is the reduced resilience that culminates in an inadequate response to stressors. In turn, the un-repelled stress heaves up into chronic stress that translates to increased levels of depression and anxiety (Bosch & Bird, 2018). With a weak response to stress, the immune system is incapacitated to producing enough cytokines to handle the organism's reactions to chronic stress, and, therefore, leads to chronic inflammation of cells. Such inflammation causes damage to mitochondria resulting in continuous behavioral change and the end, non-communicable diseases such as dementia, depression, and diabetes.

Among the factors that foster the development of a robust resilience against stressors are a safe and green environment, outdoor interactions and activities, strong social network, dieting, and genetics. Exposure to a green environment allows the adjustment of biomarkers. Couple this with healthy social interaction and the interaction in nature boosts resilience against stress.

Bird. Bosch, Epel, and Ickovics did a great piece tying the response process to stressors to nature. Primarily, I would have only thought that nature only provides a safe space for people to think through the issues, and tackle their various issues, stressing them. This chapter, however, brought more light to this link, pointing out that nature, interactions, and activities in natural environments go way further than just providing space for thoughts. Instead, they allow room for the development of resilience against stressors that might cause chronic stress. This makes it even more clear why physicians recommend walks in the park, morning runs, and even pet walks in natural environments to people undergoing chronic stress. There is a strong advocating for outdoor activities in greener spaces because they allow room for growth, and the growth forms a strong defense against chronic stress that could have, under ordinary urban situations, easily led to chronic stress, chronic inflammation, and chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Chapter 2.1; Environmental Psychology

Approved and recognized as one of the fields of psychology, environmental psychology examines, details, and describes the interplay between human beings and their immediate physical environments. The field further describes the various theories that assert the critical role of nature to health. A first of these is Daniel Berlyne’s aesthetic theory. According to Berlyne, human beings explore their environment out of the curiosity and aesthetic pleasure they realize in so doing. Nature stands still as the optimal stimuli with the capacity to balance the excitement levels. Another of the theories is Jay Appleton’s refuge-prospect theory. According to Jay, it was nature that was provided through humanity’s evolution. Landscapes provided prospects where the early man could spot predators from afar and also serviced them with caves that acted as hideouts from predators.

To better illustrate and concretize the interplay between humanity and nature across life, the chapter previews the various psychological restoration theories. These are the theories that cement the provision of nature to human psychological needs. Among these is Kaplan and Kaplan’s attention restoration theory. The theory demonstrates how natures’ existence and beauty fascinate humanity, creating room for compatibility and restoration. This connection and interplay are summed up with the work of Meyer and Frants, 2014, who concluded that people derive emotional well-being and a sense of meaning to life from their connection to nature. Without which, life loses meaning.

This chapter brings one particular sense to life. That there is an endless, limitless, and infinite connection and interplay between human life and nature. Nature supplies to us always have and guard our survival even when ewe least acknowledge it. All the theorization has been done to draw to that same conclusion. It is simple to say that nature sustains human life. The flowing rivers, blowing winds and air currents, plants growing around us, and the aura of plant life builds the sense of emotional well-being we need for psychological health. Its design guards us, gives us shielding cover against catastrophes. Its beauty fascinates and amazes us, calming our minds and the tsunamis blowing within us. If it were not for nature’s key ro0le in our lives, life on earth could most likely have long turned into one of those horror films that show a dying life.

Chapter 2.2; Therapeutic Landscapes, Restorative Environments, Place Attachment, And Wellbeing.

The chapter takes a deeper dive into the psychology, and the psychological attachment people have to nature. First, in the book, the authors Mardie Townsend, Claire Handerson-Wilson, Hywantee, and Rona introduce the concepts of landscape preference and the attachments people have or develop with places they have been. Landscapes have a long history evidencing their therapeutic application in treatments. As early as in the thirteenth century, therapeutic landscapes such as gardens were used to ease the healing process in monasteries by providing patients with a calm and charming environment critical for recovery.

The chapter further breaks down the impact of therapeutic landscapes to humanity’s well-being by describing several ways in which this happens. Among these is that nature provides the opportunity to develop a sense of risk-taking, confidence, and self-worth by confronting challenges.

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