Did you know that celebs Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron, and Carrie Underwood grew up living on farms? These stars have said that growing up on a farm taught them an appreciation for nature as well as the value of hard work.
Maybe you never grew up in the country but you were still surrounded by nature as a child. Perhaps you spent your spare time biking through trails and forests and fishing at the lake.
Having this kind of nature-infused upbringing has probably made you partial to the great outdoors and it’s where you might feel most alive.
How does growing up in nature uniquely reflect how a person relates to the world as an adult? Read on to find out.
1) They are more apt to marvel at the wonder of life
Growing up with nature all around can be glorious in a myriad of ways. For one thing, everything is more pronounced: the sunrises, the sunsets, the sign of the stars on a clear night, the perfumed scent of rainfall—they all have a vividness that feels almost magical.
Children especially are enchanted by the beauty of nature. Later, as adults, they can take this awe and apply it so that nature still has a substantial presence in their lives—even if they live in the city. They might be mountain climbers during their downtime, for instance.
They always have that sense that they are part of something larger, and that any answers they seek are out there.
2) They are naturally more creative
It’s no wonder then, that people who grew up in nature are naturally creative and imaginative—even as adults.
As mentioned, they can be artists where nature is their muse, or archaeologists where they get to discover and investigate ancient treasures. They are lifelong explorers of the earth.
The point is that they keep the sense of creative play that was inspired by their surroundings as a child to a theme in their adult lives.
3) They are less likely to have anxiety and depression as adults
A study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America found that Danish children who grew up with less greenery nearby from birth to age 10 were as much as 55 percent more at risk of developing a mental disorder later in life, writes environmental writer Sam Nickerson.
The researchers also found that the risks decreased the longer children spent living close to nature—whether they lived in city settings or rural areas.
“If you are surrounded by more green space consistently throughout childhood, you will have an even lower risk of having a psychiatric disorder,” according to Kristine Engemann, who is the lead author of the study as well as a fellow at Aarhus University.
4) They have a natural confidence about them
Maybe it has something to do with having to be self-sufficient when growing up around nature, or the fact that they relied on their own imagination for fun and play rather than on television and video games.
People who grew up in nature have an innate confidence about them. This could be from an inner knowing that the infinite source that created the earth can take care of them, too.
5) They have a fervent need for freedom
The great outdoors was perhaps a great escape for you growing up. Any problem you had could be reflected upon in nature and somehow, someway the answer would come to you.
Nature has always represented getting away from the mundane and the everyday dramas of life.
Even now, as an adult, you find yourself itching to be out and about in the infinite realm of nature where you are (at least temporarily) free from the constraints of society.
6) They’re always active
This one goes without saying. If you grew up in nature, the odds are that you were always doing something physical: hiking, climbing, swimming, sledding, helping out with chores, and all sorts of outdoorsy stuff.
Once this lifestyle has been ingrained in you as a child, the itch to be active in one form or another would be an intrinsic part of your lifestyle later on in adulthood.
7) They live more in the moment
Part of the beauty and awe of nature is that it forces you to slow down and live in the moment.
Time is of no issue to nature and it’s easy to get caught up in the stillness of a pasture or the tumultuous waves of the ocean before a storm. You can also get lost in the crisp scent of pine in the throes of autumn.
This quote says by the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu says it all:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
8) They have an affinity for nature and feel protective of it
Of course, if you grew up in nature, you probably have an attachment to it, and you want to do your part in preserving it.
You could have a passion for wildlife, the environment, or the conservation of water, for example. Perhaps you’re involved in local organizations and fundraising projects.
Nature satisfies our instincts, scientists say. Perhaps because this natural inclination has been passed down to us for generations.
Humans gravitate towards natural images—it’s why we have a wanderlust to travel and see the world.
Scientists say that the innate desire to be surrounded by nature comes from our very first ancestors who relied so profoundly on the natural world.
9) They are resilient by nature
Throughout your life, nature has shown you time and time again that it can weather any storm that comes its way.
You take the metaphor and apply it to your own life.
You know that every hardship is but a season, and it shall inevitably pass just as the winter always gives way to spring and the rebirth and rejuvenation it brings.
Just as nature is stimulating for the senses, so too can it calm us down with its soothing sounds and range of textures to touch. This can ground us, and remind us of our own strength and ability to endure.
10) They need natural beauty in their lives
This one is an easy one. Since you were surrounded by nature for much of your life, you feel the need to have it always around you no matter if you’re living in a sleek city high-rise.
You might have your own little greenhouse in your backyard or head out to the trails for a bike ride every chance you get.
Maybe you make it a practice to be out walking or running nature for at least an hour of the day to soothe your soul, get a burst of inspiration, or as a way to regroup.
It’s inherent for humans to have an a deep connection to nature:
According to the University of California at Berkeley, over 100 studies have shown that being in nature, living in nature, or even viewing nature in paintings and videos can have positive impacts on our brains, bodies, feelings, thought processes, and social interactions.
“In particular, viewing nature seems to be inherently rewarding, producing a cascade of emotions and calming our nervous systems,” say Kristophe Greene and Dacher Keltber.
“These, in turn, help us to cultivate greater openness, creativity, connection, generosity, and resilience.”