April 2020: The Biophilia Hypothesis

Morgan Malget (Editor-in-Chief)



Why biophilia is important and should be nurtured in each of us.

Biophilia means, "a love of life and the living world; the affinity of human beings for other life forms." To put that in simple terms, bio means life and philia means love for something; i.e. love for life.

The term biophilia was first coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm in 1964, but it was popularized by biologist Edward O. Wilson after he presented the term in his book Biophilia in 1984. Wilson describes the term as, "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life." The biophilia hypothesis is that as humans, it is in our biology to have attractions and positive feelings towards organisms, species, habitats and processes in their natural habitat.

If you have ever felt the overwhelming need to sit outside on a sunny day or to go on a hike and really dive into nature, you were probably experiencing the biophilia hypothesis. We have a natural want and a need to be outside and to be in tune with nature.

Having a greater love for nature and other living things can significantly boost your mental health. It has been scientifically proven that spending more time outside can restore focus, help us shrug off societal pressure, enhance creativity and it can boost our energy according to mentalfloss.com. There was even a study done that showed how sunlight exposure can help mitigate pain and decrease healing time.

While the abundance of nature can have positive effects on our lives, the lack of it can have negative effects. Being cooped up inside can cause rising levels of depression and anxiety. Even in the winter when Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is on the rise due to shorter days and less sunlight, it is shown that spending time outside will relieve these negative feelings even if it is cold outside.

If you are a biophiliac, remember to not only reap the benefits of nature but also you must respect nature. Try to have more mindful practices when it comes to your trash and recycling. Boost your environment by planting a garden or taking care of the wildlife near you in ways such as having a bird feeder or birdbath.

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