Nature is helpful for your mind even in artificial settings

TreesMain Point:

In a study, researchers have found that sounds of nature played in the background even from a recording can help in recovery from a negative experience. In another study, it has been found that watching 3-D videos of trees can help in recovery from stress.

Published in:

Ecopsychology

Environment and Behavior

Study Further:

Everybody knows that moving in nature, listening to different natural sounds, and looking at beautiful sceneries can help in improving overall quality of health and mood. Writers like to walk in nature to gain inspiration for their writing, tourists go out for beauty, and scientists visit nature to get relaxation from daily routines. Recently scientists have found that nature in artificial settings can also help in recovery from negative experiences of life.

trees - yellowIn a study, published in the journal Ecopsychology, researchers have reported that sounds of nature even on a recording can help in moving out of the negative experiences and getting a positive mood. They have also found that natural sounds are more helpful in recovery from bad experiences of life than hybrid sounds, i.e. sounds having mixture of natural sounds and man-made sounds, and completely man-made sounds. However, not all types of natural sounds are helpful as for example sounds of predatory animals such as lions and sounds of violent natural phenomena such as thunderstorms.

“Thus natural soundscapes can provide restorative benefits independent of those produced by visual stimuli,” Researchers concluded.

In another study, published in the journal Environment and Behavior, researchers have reported that watching 3-D videos of trees can help in moving out of stressful experiences. Interestingly, videos with no trees have less affect on reducing the stress as compared to watching videos having trees in them. Moreover, the more trees up to a certain limit (tree canopy of 24-34%) a person sees in the video, the more he or she will be able to recover from stress.

“These findings suggest that viewing tree canopy in communities can significantly aid stress recovery and that every tree matters,” Researchers stated in the paper.

References:

Benfield Jacob A.,, Taff B. Derrick,, Newman Peter,, & Smyth Joshua. (2014). Natural Sound Facilitates Mood Recovery Ecopsychology

Jiang, B., Li, D., Larsen, L., & Sullivan, W. (2014). A Dose-Response Curve Describing the Relationship Between Urban Tree Cover Density and Self-Reported Stress Recovery Environment and Behavior DOI: 10.1177/0013916514552321

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