By Taj Nabi Khan
ISLAMABAD, May 09 (APP):The old generation, despite having lesser or no modern-day facilities, has probably lived longer, healthier and happier lives for being closely connected with nature to avail its life-giving physical and psychological benefits.
During the last few decades, the natural mode of life has slowly changed. Huge transformation occurred from house (open-to-close) and family structure (extended to single-parent) to mode of socialization (real-to-virtual) and medicines (herbal/homeopathic to allopathic), sleeping timings (early to late night) to eating habits (organic to inorganic) and mode of travelling (almost with no walk).
Therefore, working against the natural mode of life has created lots of tensions and
a number of modern-day diseases.
With the passage of time life has become more artificial and less natural. It would not be wrong to say that alongside facilities, the modern way of living has also brought about a range of novel physical and mental illnesses. This may also be attributed to environmental degradation, air and water pollution, overpopulation, lack of socialization, uncontrolled urbanization and artificial foods.
Similarly, productive agricultural land and natural landscapes are also being swallowed up by urbanization with declining human connection with natural landscape. Likewise, the virtual options of indoor recreations and technological transformation that provided alternate means to almost everything without any mobility has also disconnected
people from their surroundings.
The longer disconnect from life-giving benefits of nature has also affected lifespan. Therefore, recently more and more people have started re-connecting to desi stuff and natural lifestyle from food choices to kitchen gardening, pottery utensils to healthy socialization, visiting natural areas to hiking, tree plantation to herbals, more sunlight to oxygenated rooms and pollution-free environment to pure drinking water.
It was due to the fact that nature has more restorative and soothing powers and positive outcomes for mental health. Similarly, natural living also helps minimizes mental stress.
Clean and green surroundings, organic foods, socialization, physical work and early to bed and early to rise help people to live long and healthier lives.
According to research studies, people have slowly distanced from natural mode of life. Nature has proved helpful both for physical and psychological well-being. And those who remain closely connected with nature have been found happier and more active in life.
The studies said, “Even in small doses, nature is a potent elixir: When their hospital room had flowers and foliage, post-surgery patients needed less painkillers and reported less fatigue. And merely looking at pictures of nature does speed up mental restoration and improves cognitive functioning.”
Another study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has also found that people living in green spaces and more vegetation around them had a lower risk of mortality.
Talking to APP, Islamabad based working Journalist, Khalid Aziz said that large scale practical shifts would be difficult due to the fact that only a lesser number of people could repatriate back to their rural areas.
He said, “People in urban areas can utilize free spaces on their rooftops for kitchen gardening to have access to fresh and home-grown vegetables”. Life in rural areas has nature in abundance with spacious areas for more sunlight (rich source of Vitamin-D) and strong psycho-social supportive environment, which is required for the strong immune system, particularly during these days of corona pandemic, he added.
Sajjad Ali, an Islamabad based businessman told this agency that the cities have been expanded with massive population growth without proper planning. He said, “The government should come up with a policy to facilitate people of the rural areas to curb the high ratio of urbanization.”
People often used to come to cities to get some employment, but after sometime, they get settled permanently, he added.
Another resident of the capital Advocate Hafiz Tayyab said due to rapid urbanization, the agricultural land has being turning into commercial and residential areas without having any long term planning.
He urged the government to device concrete policies to facilitate people to
be re-connected with the nature.
He said people should also be sensitized to plant trees in their homes, free spaces and on roadsides to combat environmental degradation and modern-day diseases.
“It was also the responsibility of the state to ensure clean, green and pollution-free environment to its people”, he added.