Noticing nearby nature : mindfulness as a pathway to nature connectedness
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Paying mindful attention to our physical surroundings can be an important practice for developing and deepening nature connectedness. Fostering such connectedness is often a central goal of environmental education and has been linked to well-being and pro-environmental behaviour. This thesis is an autoethnographic study that explores the lived experience of a daily practice of mindfully observing nearby nature. Through journaling and taking photographs, I studied my own observation activities conducted within the Greater Victoria urban environment, and compared these to the characteristics of mindfulness. I also describe insights into my own relationship with nature that I gleaned from this process. This research adds rich description to the existing quantitative research on nature connectedness and mindfulness, and offers recommendations for educators and individuals seeking to increase nature connectedness, especially for those living in urban environments. Keywords: nature connectedness, mindfulness, connection to nature, nearby nature
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