Nature Can Ease Loneliness

Welcome to Eagan All Seasons Wild Bird Store
The crew at All Seasons Wild Bird Store are always happy to talk birds with you! Photo by Ann McCarthy


Social media. Politics. Aging. Covid. Disability. Geography. Economic factors. For whatever reason, loneliness is on the rise nationwide according to Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murty in a recent NPR Morning Edition interview.

Loneliness can impact mental health resulting in depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal ideology. Loneliness can also impact physical health resulting in obesity, a weakened immune system, sleep deprivation, and even cardiovascular disease. Additionally, those who live alone after a death or divorce are at even greater risk for loneliness and isolation. Regrettably, the elderly are especially prone to loneliness, which may lead to an increase incidence of dementia.

According to Psychology Today, nature can soothe loneliness. In fact, connecting with the natural world may be very helpful to those experiencing loneliness, and the struggles associated with it. Nature can inspire calmness, connectedness, joy, and a feeling of gratitude. Nature allows us to be fully present in the moment and it provides us with an opportunity to reduce the din of daily life.

A group of folks goes birding in Eagan
A crew of birders head out for a walk together. Photo by Ann McCarthy

Connectedness to nature can lead to shared experiences through volunteering at a local park, joining a gardening group, or even a birding club. Nature activities do not discriminate. They are open to all regardless of age, ability level, gender, or economic status. Quality connections can be cultivated and grown outside.

Backyard bird feeding is a great way to establish a connection to the natural world, and all of its healing benefits. Feeding the birds is an easy first step.

Feed Birds. Feel Better.

By Eagan Store Manager Ann McCarthy