Studies show that surrounding your workspace with items that bring you joy, such as a plant, or an image that triggers the mind to recall a memory, a future goal, or a place in nature, can have a really positive affect on our wellbeing. Making time to look at these items throughout your working day can bring a sense of comfort, wellbeing and hope. It can be hard finding time to connect with nature especially in our working life, but these little reminders bring us back to ‘homeostasis’!
So why is nature so good for the soul? Does it really improve our psychological well-being? Here is how:
- Nature helps in emotional regulation and improves memory functions. A study on the cognitive benefits of nature found that subjects who took a nature walk did better on a memory test than the subjects who walked down urban streets (Berman, Jonides, Kaplan, 2008).
- Studies show that people suffering from mild to major depressive disorders display significant mood improvement when they are exposed to nature. They are also more motivated and energised to recover and get back to normalcy (Berman, Kross, Kaplan, 2012).
- Recent investigations revealed that being outdoor reduces stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. It also makes us immune to allied problems like hypertension (Lee J, 2011).
- Nature walks and other outdoor activities build attention and focus (Hartig, 1991). There is evidence that indicate strong environmental connections to be related to better performance, heightened concentration and reduced chances of developing Attention Deficit Disorder.
- A study at the University of Kansas found that spending more time outdoors and less time with our electronic devices can increase our problem-solving skills and improve creative abilities.
So! The conclusion is… get your office to have a plant intervention, put up pictures of your favourite places in the world, and try to get outside if you can at least once a day!