Biophilia and Humans: Nature as a Stress Reliever
Stress does not only make humans feel horrible emotionally – it can also exacerbate just about every health condition and may trigger others. This dangerous disease has become quite the endemic in today’s world, yet many have not found a way to relieve it.
How can you reduce stress rates? The answer may be surprising: reconnect with nature. As hippie-dippy as it sounds, research and studies conducted over the last several decades have helped us understand the relationship between humans and their environments. These studies have proven that humans unconsciously and intrinsically prefer to be surrounded by nature and can benefit greatly from it. The Biophilia hypothesis is the most popular theory concerning this nature-human connection.
By making nature and plants a part of our everyday lives, we satisfy this biophilic need while also reducing stress levels. Here are a few popular ways to reduce your stress by bringing the outdoors inside:
- Plant Walls – The popularity of plant walls (sometimes called green or living walls) has exponentially grown in recent years. They are a unique and beautiful feature that are often used in offices and corporate buildings, as they offer a bit of an escape and stress relief in the world of concrete and glass by humanizing nature-deficient indoor spaces.
- Green Lounge Areas – Many offices are now reaping the benefits of incorporating natural elements into employee lounge areas. By including plants and outdoor elements in these spaces, employees report an improvement in their overall mood and productivity levels.
- Indoor Plants – Adding plants to indoor areas is one of the best and most effective ways of satisfying humans’ need for nature. Plants have the incredible ability to lower stress levels and actually improve overall health. They act as natural air filters by removing dangerous volatile organic compounds and air pollutants from indoor air while simultaneously releasing oxygen. When included in the workplace, office plants can help boost employee productivity and reduce sick days.
- Consider the View – A famous study conducted at Texas A&M by Dr. Roger Ulrich found that simply being able to view nature through a window can actually positively impact patients’ recovery rates after surgery. Simply having the ability to see the outdoors can improve your mental and physical health, and reduce stress levels.