Integrating Nature Into Our (Work) Lives

Office worker looking through window

Integrating Nature Into Our (Work) Lives

Although people evolved in nature and nearly all of humanity’s history has been spent in the natural environment, the trend during the past 200 years or so has been for people to move away from nature and spend less time outdoors. Nearly half of the world’s population now live in cities, and many of us spend our weekdays working indoors, under artificial light.

Yet, exposure to nature – even a picture of nature – can have an immediate calming effect on us. It can elevate our mood and make us happier and more creative. Research suggests it can even relieve pain.

That’s why it can be so important for us to make an effort to spend more time exposed to nature. And that includes during the workweek.

We can do this by taking a walk outside at lunchtime, or after work. We can decorate our work areas with plants and scenic prints or paintings to remind us of nature. We can even create our own natural artwork and display it at work.

There are many ways to add more natural exposure to your life. Perhaps the easiest way is just to go outside. Take in your surroundings – the trees, the grass, the sky. You can really immerse yourself in the natural world by growing a garden, or at least caring for plants indoors. Spending time outside with family members can be the perfect way to connect with nature – and your family!

It turns out that nature is a powerful stress buster, and it could be the ultimate antidepressant. When we connect with nature, we feel better – probably because we’re not connecting as much as we’re reconnecting. It’s that simple.