Natural Lifestyle: Re-connecting with nature to combat modern-day diseases

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By Taj Nabi Khan

ISLAMABAD, Jan 17 (APP):The older generations, despite having lesser modern-day facilities, had probably lived longer, healthier and happier lives and benefited tremendously for being closely connected with nature and its life-giving physical and psychological benefits. However, during the last few decades, the natural mode of life has slowly changed due to more race and competition.

The large scale transformation in house structure (open to close) and family formation (extended to single-parent), the mode of socialization (real to virtual), the form of medicines (herbal/homeopathic to allopathic), sleeping timings (early to late night) and eating habits (organic to inorganic) and mode of travelling (almost with no walk) took place. 

Therefore, running from pillar to post and working from dawn to dusk in a polluted environment against nature has created nothing but psychological tension in abundance. In order to feed the growing population, simple life has got somehow more complicated.

Life has become more artificial and less natural. Therefore, it would not be wrong to state that alongside facilities, the modern way of living has also brought about a range of novel physical and mental illnesses. 

This may also be attributed to environmental degradation, air and water pollution, overpopulation, lack of socialization, uncontrolled urbanization and artificial foods. 

Similarly, the productive agricultural land and natural landscapes are also being swallowed up by urbanization with declining human connection with natural landscape. Likewise, the virtual options of indoor recreations and technological transformation that provided alternate means to almost everything without any mobility has also disconnected people from their surroundings. It was witnessed that people have been more distanced from life-giving benefits of natural life by affecting not only their health but also their lifespan.

 Therefore, recently more and more people have started re-connecting to desi stuff and natural lifestyle from food choices to kitchen gardening, pottery utensils to healthy socialization, visiting natural areas to hiking, tree plantation to herbals, more sunlight to oxygenated rooms and pollution-free environment to pure drinking water. 

It was due to the fact that nature has more restorative and soothing powers along with positive outcomes for mental health. Similarly, natural living is more eco-friendly with a planet loving approach which also helps minimize mental stress.

Clean and green surroundings, organic foods, socialization, physical work and early to bed and early to rise could help people to live healthier lives. 

According to various research studies, people have slowly distanced from natural mode of life. Nature has proved helpful both for physical and psychological well-being. And those who remained closely connected with nature have been found happier and more active in life.

It also said, “Even in small doses, nature is a potent elixir: When their hospital room had flowers and foliage, post-surgery patients needed less pain killers     and reported less fatigue.

 And merely looking at pictures of nature does speed up  mental restoration and improves cognitive functioning.  Another study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has also found that people living in green spaces and more vegetation around had a lower risk of mortality.

Such people have also improved mental health, social engagement and physical activity that come up with living near greener areas. Talking to APP, Islamabad based working Journalist, Khalid Aziz said that large scale practical shifts would be difficult due to the fact that only a lesser number of people could repatriate back to their rural areas.

 He said, “People in urban areas could utilize free spaces on their rooftops for kitchen gardening to have access to fresh and home-grown vegetables” Life in rural areas has nature in abundance with spacious areas for more sunlight (rich source of Vitamin-D) and strong psycho-social supportive environment, which was required for the immunity system of the body, particularly during these days of corona pandemic, he added.

 Advocate Hafiz Tayyab while talking to the news agency said that due to rapid urbanization, the agricultural land has been turned into commercial and residential areas without any long term planning. While urging the government to conceive well formulated policies to make people once again re-connected to nature, he said, people should also be sensitized to plant trees in their homes, free spaces and on roadsides to combat environmental degradation.

“It was the responsibility of the government to ensure a clean, green and pollution-free environment to its public”, he added.