Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies


Holistic Health

First Advisor

Carol Geisler


Holistic Health Studies


Spending time in nature results in health benefits. Researchers also find a positive relationship between spirituality and health. Some research suggests a positive association between nature connectedness and spirituality. The literature on the relationships between nature connectedness, spirituality, and well-being and the meaning these relationships have for individuals is limited. This phenomenological study describes 15 participants' lived experiences of how nature connectedness relates to spirituality and well-being. Five themes emerged using semi-structured interviews and thematic data analysis: Nature as a path to spirituality; nature preferences relate to spirituality; connectedness; spiritual guidance from nature; and spirituality in nature is healing. Nature connectedness is a path to spirituality, and individuals connect spiritually with themselves, others, or something larger than themselves when engaged with nature. Connecting with nature provides clarity and healing. These findings contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting we cannot live our best life without nature. Additionally, they offer insights for health practitioners, holistic educators, and public land managers interested in using nature to foster spirituality as a dimension of health. Getting outside and engaging with nature is an affordable, enjoyable, and powerful holistic method to impact mental, physical, and spiritual well-being positively.

Available for download on Sunday, May 19, 2024