How does our Environment Affect our Wellbeing?

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In 2015, the University of Stanford found that 50% of the human population was living in urban areas. They predicted that by the year 2050, that will increase to about 70%. With that, we have increased our technology usage, the hustle and bustle of work, and decreased our exposure to nature. Studies have shown that this has significantly affected our wellbeing and overall mental health. The environment surrounding you can either increase or decrease your level of stress. An unpleasant environment can increase sadness, depression, anxiousness, and provoke negative feelings overall. In return, that will leave you with muscle tension, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and a suppressed immune system. A positive environment will do the opposite.

While there are several environments, even in urban locations, that can provide us with good vibes; there is one in particular that has never failed us; nature. Studies have proven that nature provides us with a long list of benefits! Surrounding ourselves with nature more often can significantly change our lives.

Have you ever wondered why natural vacation destinations are the most popular? Why is that we find hotel rooms with a balcony view more desirable? Research has even found that hospital patients with a natural view recover sooner than those that don’t. So why? It is no coincidence!

Surrounding ourselves with nature or even viewing a natural scene can benefit our mental and physical health, as well as our spirituality.

To break it down, here are some of those benefits!

Nature will…

  • Uplift your mood

  • Increase attention, concentration, and creativity

  • Improve memory functions

  • Reduce blood pressure, anxiety, muscle tension, anger, fear, and stress hormones

  • Awaken your senses

  • Inspire gratitude and appreciation

  • Soothe you

  • Connect you to others and with the world around you

  • Provide vitamin D from the sun

  • Release toxins from our bodies by breathing in fresh air

  • Create emotional balance

  • Improve your problem solving skills

  • Increase your empathy

  • Reduce aggression in your home

  • Provide stronger bonds and emotional attachments

Here are some interesting studies to back up those benefits:

  1. “Nature walks benefit people suffering from depression (Shern et al., 2014). Studies had shown that people suffering from mild to major depressive disorders showed significant mood upliftments when exposed to nature. Not only that, but they also felt more motivated and energized to recover and get back to normalcy (Berman, Kross, Kaplan, 2012).” (Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury. “The Positive Effects Of Nature On Your Mental Well-Being.” PositivePsychology.com, 3 Nov. 2019, https://positivepsychology.com/positive-effects-of-nature/)

  2. ”A study at the University of Kansas found that spending more time outdoors and less time with our electronic devices can increase our problem-solving skills and improve creative abilities.” (Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury. “The Positive Effects Of Nature On Your Mental Well-Being.” PositivePsychology.com, 3 Nov. 2019, https://positivepsychology.com/positive-effects-of-nature/)

  3. “One of the most intriguing areas of current research is the impact of nature on general wellbeing. In one study in Mind, 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside, changing from depressed, stressed, and anxious to more calm and balanced. Other studies by Ulrich, Kim, and Cervinka show that time in nature or scenes of nature are associated with a positive mood, and psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness, and vitality.” (University of Minnesota. “How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?” taking charge.csh.umn.edu, https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing)


How to Incorporate Nature in our Daily Routines

Are you convinced yet? Apply these tips to your routine and experience the benefits yourself!

  • Take a daily walk - This can be as simple as walking your dog or you can make it exciting by hiking through trails and exploring a nearby flower field!

  • Grab a camera and take some pretty pictures - pictured above are some photos I’ve taken in my free time! I always end up with beautiful photos and come home feeling super refreshed!

  • Work or eat lunch outside - Who doesn’t love a good picnic? Great food with a side of fresh air is always a great combo! Working outside is relaxing and as mentioned previously, it will strengthen your focus and improve your problem solving skills.

  • Exercise outside

  • Style your home with natural elements


Top Left picture - I styled my studio with plants, minerals, and art to add natural elements to my space. | Featured Art: Grace - Original Painting | Available in my shop —> https://www.tulipsandtea.com/original-art/grace

Top Right Picture - Woodland King - Original Painting | Available in my shop —> https://www.tulipsandtea.com/original-art/woodland-king

Bottom Right Picture - Natural Beauty - Original Painting | Available in my shop —> https://www.tulipsandtea.com/original-art/all-natural

How to Incorporate Nature in our Homes

Now that we’ve covered the facts; how can we incorporate nature not only in our daily routines, but within our home? Every environment, even your home, can affect you everyday. Here are some tips to bring the outside in….

  • Research shows that adding a simple plant in a space can provide the benefits described above. By incorporating several plants in my studio, I’ve created a positive environment to work in.

  • Choose natural color palettes for your interior! For a calm and relaxing feel, choose colors such as greens, grays, blues and white. For a more cozy feel, choose earthy tones such as browns, deep reds, and other natural tones such as clay.

  • Bring in more natural light by opening your blinds and exposing those windows.

  • Add decor that resembles nature - landscapes, animals, florals

    Want to add some natural charm to your home? My art is inspired by the natural beauties that surround us and my love for animals! Click this link —> https://www.tulipsandtea.com/print


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The Conclusion

“Study Nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

Be grateful for the benefits that nature provides us with and don’t take them for granted.


Thank you for reading! Have thoughts on the subject? Leave a comment :)

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Courtney Melancon