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can 'virtual nature' still benefit
Although at Wild for Life we actively promote the benefits of being outside and there can really be no substitute for feeling the fresh air on your face and the soft grass between your toes, we also understand that for many, spending time indoors and often away from green spaces is not always easy to do.
It is interesting therefore to explore the concept of 'Biophilia', which literally means 'love of nature'. This philosophy suggests that humans have historically had a huge connection to nature and the outdoors as the human race have developed and more time is spent in urban areas that the reduced time spent in the outdoors can have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing. Humans have an innate tenancy to seek connections with nature.
Studies suggest that even by having photographs of nature around or screen savers on a computer or house plants in your living spaces that you can still gain some of the benefit that you would if you were outside.
Images of the natural world can remind us that it exists and is close by.
Green natural spaces aid relaxation and can improve our mood.
Images can focus our minds on those experiences to the point where we actually get some of the same physiological benefits.
Our general feelings of positivity, satisfaction and happiness are increased by viewing images of nature.
Our immune system can be bolstered as our mood improves and stress reduces.
Through greater ability to relax our focus and productivity increase.
So start loading up your computer with slide shows of landscapes, animals, the wilderness or plants. Why not photograph some of your favourite parts of the countryside that evoke happy memories and have these on your wall in any space where you are spending significant amounts of time?
Open up windows and let the air in (if it is clean and fresh) and invest in some houseplants to bring some life into enclosed spaces and reduce some of the co2 too. Think about plants that give off scents too - potted lavender in an enclosed space can help relaxation and also will look pretty.
So don’t despair if you are spending long periods of time inside. A few simple ideas can still help you to gain some benefits from the outside into your home or place of work.