Yep it's actually a thing.
This contemporary phenomenon, “Nature Deficit Disorder,” is slightly controversial in the medical industry in regards to it being recognised as a mental disorder.
Richard Louv, an author who came up with this “phrase” has stated:
“Nature-deficit disorder is not meant to be a medical diagnosis but rather to serve as a description of the human costs of alienation from the natural world.”
And boy, what health costs it can have…
- Younger generations are being at risk of having a shorter lifespan.
- Behavioural problems are developing as well as Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and depression. Studies from the University of Illinois is showing a strong link to ADD, and recent studies in USA showed classrooms and other forms of education that used outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produce significant student gain in social studies, science, language, arts and math.
- Eye problems like myopia (short-sighted) due to lack of exposure to bright (natural outdoor) light are in jeopardy. (3,4).
- Childhood obesity is a growing problem and an influential cause of it is separation from nature. (5)
- A Harvard study showed a strong correlation with mental health as women living in the greenest environments were happier and less depressed.(1,2).
According to Ayurveda, spending time in nature or green space around plants builds “Ojas” – a substance linked to longevity, vitality and radiant health.
A plentiful reserve of Ojas is reflected in the lustre of the eyes and skin (like the glow in a baby), strong physical strength, immunity and libido, good digestion, vigour and spirituality.
It could be in your garden, or a park. It could be regularly hiking, bushwalking, camping or meditating on a beach — it all builds Ojas.
Another one of the best ways to consistently build Ojas is to eat a diet of fresh unprocessed, seasonal whole food and have a balanced agni to support the process. A handful of certain foods even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas more directly and quickly.
Depleted Ojas leaves the body vulnerable to disease.
Regularly employing these methods to building Ojas is an important action to overcome fatigue and increase vitality.
“When you feel life coming down on you, Like a heavy weight.
When you feel this crazy society, Adding to the strain.
Take a stroll to the nearest waters And remember your place.
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came.”
~ Xavier Rudd
Photo: Routeburn Track, NZ by Dylan Smith
(3) New research an eye opener on cause of myopia". 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-07. (4) Nature Deficit Disorder, No Child Left Inside Archived January 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
(5) National Environmental Education Foundation