Maybe you too have seen the dazzling images just released from the James Webb Space Telescope, and wanted to discover more? When connecting with nature is recognised as a powerful way of boosting wellbeing, then experiencing and learning more about science could also do just that. It’s a way of deepening nature connection, but it’s also more than that.
Science is so immense and diverse that it’s an endless stimulus. Stimulating our minds can ease depression, improve cognition and also reduce overthinking, as it inspires different thoughts. Yes, focusing on those different thoughts can be impossible when anxiety, depression or illness take hold, but sometimes they can and will help.
Every science will differ. Think about astronomy and space science. These can open up an entirely different perspective on the world and on life. Learning about the vast expanses of space or the mystery of space time, anxiety might shrink, issues may look different. Watching the night sky or following news of space research like the James Webb Space Telescope could become an escape, a refuge. And on the other hand, looking at the tiniest details of an item under a microscope, like pollen grains, can also create a different perspective.
Science can enhance life on so many different levels. Discover more about meteorology and suddenly watching a weather forecast has more significance. Science can become a way of taking any interest further – enjoying sports, say, might spur you on to learn more about sports science and about physics, the laws of movement and motion – or a day at the coast fossil-hunting could get you learning what palaeontology is really all about. Experiencing trees is known to be calming, so go on to learn more about them and gain more from the experience.
Then there’s the science of wellbeing itself. You might like to discover more about why nature connection is known to improve wellbeing and recovery, or why arts have an impact on mood and why music releases the “happy” hormone dopamine.
Some people respond to science in creative ways, and this can further deepen our experience. Try listening to music inspired by science or the natural world, such as Holst’s Planets, or Somewhere Over The Rainbow, or Deep River, or River Deep, Mountain High, or The Spaceman Came Travelling, or Dark Side Of The Moon. You could listen while you learn more about outer space, or rainbows, or rivers. Or learn about the science behind music itself, how an instrument is made or how hearing works or about beat and rhythm.
Art too depends on science. Think about how paint is made, or how to dye fabric, or how specific colours complement each other. Or try painting, drawing, colouring or crafting animals, birds, plants or insects, or scientific phenomena you learn about. Find out about art installations on a science theme, like the Museum Of The Moon which recently toured the UK.
Science has come to life for me more as an adult, and there are so many areas to explore. Stimulus, wonder, wellbeing.
It would be great if you would like to share in Medley’s Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/359291215486002 how you respond to science: do you find science can improve wellbeing? Thank you.