Little is known about the psychological processes through which people connect to nature. From social psychology, we know that emotions play an essential role when connecting to others. In this article, we argue that social connectedness and connectedness to nature are underpinned by the same emotions. More specifically, we propose that social-relational emotions are crucial to understanding the process through which humans connect to nature. Besides other emotions, kama muta (Sanskrit: being moved by love) might play a particularly crucial role when connecting to nature. Future research should consider the role of social-relational emotions in human-nature relationships.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world”
– John Muir