Studies have indicated reduced levels of stress when people work and play in a natural environment. Commuters register a significantly higher blood pressure reading when traveling through “concrete jungles” as compared to their fellows lucky enough to travel through wooded stretches of highway. Deer, wired to monitor heart rate, were observed to experience a faster heart rate when leaving wooded paths for asphalt roadways, even when there was no traffic and no threat. A quiet walk in the woods has calmed hearts and minds for centuries. What can the modern urban and suburban dweller do to reduce the effects of a lack of nature in their surroundings? Read on for some easy solutions.
A tree can be planted just about anywhere. Even an apartment dweller can find real (no fakes, please) trees to pot up and place in their home. Whether you are in an office, apartment, or home, trees not only cleanse your mind, they cleanse the air you breathe. Consider planting trees near windows where they can be observed from inside. The addition of a bird feeder or squirrel feeder greatly enhances the effect on mood.
Plants Help, Too
If a tree is not what you want, think about adding shrubs and plants inside your home or office and outside. Choose a variety of textures and colors. The variety is important. If you don’t have a lot of floor space, think vertical. Planters designed especially for vertical gardening can be a boon to those with little space. Herbs, strawberries and tomatoes can all be grown in a sunny window.
The Soothing Sound of Water
Fountains of water have a sound all of their own. The soothing melody of moving water will have you relaxed in no time. Fountains are available for desks, atriums, and large buildings. You can also make your own.
Try incorporating the diverse textures, colors, and sounds of nature into your environment. Chances are good that you will feel yourself relax and unwind in a way you never thought possible.