But did you know that there are even more benefits to spending time in nature? Studies have shown that exposure to nature can improve our sense of wellbeing at work. So, if you're feeling stressed or burnt out, make sure to schedule some time for a dose of nature! Here, we’ll take a look at how nature relieves stress and heals — both the mind and body.
Nature can improve your sense of wellbeing
A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that participants who spent time in nature had reduced rumination — focusing on negative experiences or thoughts — and felt more connected to the world around them. The study concluded that exposure to nature could be an effective intervention for people who struggle with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Connecting with nature increases productivity at work
It stands to reason that if nature can improve your mental state, it can also increase your productivity at work. And indeed, research has shown that being in nature can help you refocus and recharge. A paper published in the journal PLOS ONE found that office workers who had access to views of nature were more productive than those who didn't. So if you're looking for a way to boost your output at work, try taking your laptop outside for a change of scenery.
Nature relieves stress
In addition to improving your sense of wellbeing and increasing your productivity, being in nature can also help reduce stress levels. Dedicating at least 20 minutes of your day to a walk in a natural environment will significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. So next time you're feeling stressed out at work, consider taking a walk outside to clear your head.
If you're interested in learning more about how nature can improve your sense of wellbeing at work, read on! We'll explore some of the ways that you can connect with nature throughout your workday, no matter where you work.
- Get outside for a few minutes every day: Even if you don't have access to a lot of green space at work, making an effort to get outside for a few minutes each day can make a big difference.
- Bring some plants into the office: If you can't get outside, bringing some plants into your office or home office space is the next best thing. Plants not only look great and add some life to your workspace, but they also help purify the air and boost your mood.
- Take your meetings outside: Instead of holding your next meeting in a conference room, or your kitchen, try taking it outside. Not only will the change of scenery be refreshing, but the fresh air will do wonders for your energy levels and ability to focus.
- Eat lunch away from your desk: When it's time for lunch, step away from your desk and take a break from staring at a computer screen all day. Eating lunch outside is a great way to get some vitamin D and clear your head before diving back into work for the afternoon.
- Take a (nature) break when you need one: If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, taking a quick break to connect with nature can help you reset and refocus. Step away from your desk, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths while listening to the sounds around you. Or try going for a short walk outside, you'll be surprised how much better you feel when you get back to work.
- Use nature’s scents to relieve stress: Pleasant, ambient scents have been proven to improve wellbeing. Being in a nice-smelling environment can help you feel more productive, too. Using an essential oils diffuser maintains a consistent, aromatic scent. Lavender essential oils can relieve stress and headaches and eucalyptus has many health benefits, including relieving coughs and clearing built-up mucus.
Connect with nature!
From reducing stress levels to increasing productivity, there are plenty of reasons to spend more time outdoors. So if you're feeling bogged down at work, take a break and head outside for some fresh air — your mind and body will thank you for it.
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