We recently came across an incredible psychological study from Japan. The study tracked the effects of visual stimulation with bonsai trees on adult male patients with spinal cord injuries. Specific, yes, but the study in a larger sense speaks to the undeniable link between nature therapy and psychological relaxation. You don’t have to be suffering from a spinal cord injury or have a bonsai tree to reap the benefits of nature’s positive effect on the brain - there are things that we can do every day to engage with nature that will greatly impact our lives. These are five of our favorite (and easiest!) go-to’s…
Walk outside. If the weather is nice, go for a morning walk outside in the fresh air rather than the gym. Seeing some green space and hearing nature sounds (such as birds chirping) directly influences your ability to recover from stress.
Sit near a window. If you can, always choose an office desk that’s near the window. Even small glimpses of nature can improve overall mood - the calming view can relax you and put things into perspective.
Change your desktop. There’s a reason why people have their favorite vacation spot as their desktop background. In a study conducted by Roger Ulrich, heart patients in the ICU were able to reduce their anxiety and need for pain medication by viewing pictures of trees and water.
Buy flowers. A bouquet of flowers is a necessary indulgence if you ask us. The addition of plants and flowers to a workplace can positively affect creativity, productivity and flexibility. Beautiful and useful - a win, win situation!
Pet an animal. Whether’s it’s a Budhakitty or Budhadog, interacting with an animal has been proven to decrease stress levels, decrease heart rate and improve self-esteem.
Have you tried ecotherapy during challenging times in your life? Tell us about your experience and the techniques you’ve used in the comments below!