‘The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself’ .

William Blake 

I encourage my clients to make the natural world part of their lives. Especially if their work involves long hours spent thinking or at a computer or in man made environment.

Poets like William Blake have been championing the healing power of nature for years and now science is looking for evidence of nature’s wellbeing proprieties.

‘Short durations of viewing green pictures may help people to recover from stress,'' lead researcher Magdalena van den Berg told Gretchen Reynolds at The New York Times.

The findings, reported in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, suggest that keeping a few snapshots of greenery around your work desk might not be a bad idea. When participants viewed the natural images in the experiment, their stress levels lowered, thanks to the activation of their parasympathetic nervous system – which controls certain rest functions

"Viewing green scenes may thus be particularly effective in supporting relaxation and recovery after experiencing a stressful period," the authors write, "and thereby could serve as an opportunity for micro-restorative experiences and a promising tool in preventing chronic stress and stress-related diseases.

Interestingly, the green stimulus appears to work as a recovery from stress, but the researchers found it can't act as a buffer. Looking at pictures of greenery before the stress-inducing test had no pre-calming effect on the participants.

Source: Science Alert  + New York Times