Finding Happiness in Nature: Beyond Fresh Air and Scenery

Dharana Wellness Retreat near Mumbai & Pune, India

The United Nations estimates that the current global urbanization rate was 55%, roughly translating to about 4.2 Billion People living in an urban setting. By 2050, an estimated 66% of the population will be living in urban areas. Urban areas are the pinnacle of modern living. These areas are designed to keep individuals on the go, always focused on the next day and the next task at hand. As a side effect, the presence of nature is an afterthought, poorly implemented or undermaintained. 


As experts at one of the Best Wellness Centres in India, it is interesting to see how growing conversations regarding sustainability and greenery have focused on the connection between nature and humans. Recently, the term ‘Nature Connectedness’ has entered the cultural zeitgeist. Also termed Nature Affiliation, it refers to the sense of connection an individual feels with the natural world. According to Psychologists F. Stephan Mayer and Cynthia McPherson Frantz, this is an individual’s “experiential sense of oneness with the natural world.”


Contemporary research has highlighted an intriguing connection between Nature and an all-important human feeling: Happiness. Finding Happiness in Nature, when explored in the context of thorough research, displays an actual, concrete, and statistical link.


Environmental Researcher De Vries and colleagues identified a strong relationship between health and the greenness of the environment in a robust study of more than 10,000 people living in the Netherlands. Those who lived amongst greenery reported fewer physical symptoms and greater perceived health.


Even exposure to nature from sources as simple as a photo makes a big difference. Researcher Jules Pretty in his paper “Green exercise: The benefits of activities in green places”, identified that exercising while viewing photographs of nature reduced blood pressure to a greater extent when compared with those who exercised in the absence of such photos or the presence of Urban Photos.


As a prominent Wellness Retreat in India, Finding Happiness in Nature is an important part of the curated wellness experience. Here are some of the activities included within the Dharana Wellness Programmes that help you experience happiness in the beautiful Shillim Valley – 


  1. Shinrin Yoku

A Japanese term and therapy, Shinrin Yoku or, ‘Forest Bathing’, is a slow, deliberate, and mindful walk within nature and forests. The overall goal is to increase exposure to nature, an often lacking component in Urban Living. 


These walks encourage one to appreciate the beauty and expanse of nature surrounding them, making this a very potent form of Ecotherapy.


  1. Hiking to the Shillim Peak

The Shillim Valley delivers a truly transformational hiking experience. As you climb towards the peak, the valley slowly reveals itself. The scenery evolves, from being enclosed within a dense forest to the view of Pavna Lake.


This is one of the most holistic Nature Walks near Mumbai, providing not only an efficient workout but an experience of dynamic and varied nature.


  1. Bird Watching

As a holistic Wellness Retreat in India, the integration of traditional wellness with the beauty of nature is at the heart of the Dharana Way of Life.


Bird Watching in the serene Shillim Valley is a guided experience, allowing you to cultivate mindfulness by slowing down and appreciating the flow and fauna surrounding you.

Finding Happiness in Nature is not a far-fetched idea but a reality at the Dharana Luxury Wellness Retreat. The ‘nature therapy’ that comes as a part of each Wellness Journey program is sure to get you the therapeutic benefits you need. To book, click here.