The Green Stuff Makes Us Happy
It’s true! We don’t spend enough time outside in nature. It’s a fact. We need this stuff for our emotional wellbeing and, no sh*t, spending eight hours a day inside staring at a screen, with (if we’re lucky) some natural light reminding us that we are actually inside rather than breathing that air outside, our emotional wellbeing is really not being pampered the way it should be. There are physiological and psychological impacts on our bodies – we need to listen to them!
As you’ve heard me say before, we don’t follow “trends”, at evolve design | build, but we do follow “research”. Research is clear on this.
We can bring the outside, inside. Effectively – and it really, really does work. Of course our bodies don’t know the difference, we literally “see” the shape of the flowers, the leaves.. the nature.. and boxes are ticked. Our brain stands down.
In an article named Biophilia: Does visual contact with nature impact on health and wellbeing. (Bjørn Grinde, Grete Grindal Patil, 2009) the authors evaluated fifty empirical studies to conclude that “an environment devoid of Nature may act as a “discord”, i.e., have a negative effect” and that.. “discords are mismatches with a potentially undesirable impact on health or quality of life”. They established that even the visual absence of plants had a negative effect on our wellbeing and this was improved by simply adding elements of nature; creating parks, offering a view through windows and by the addition of potted plants inside.
How cool is that??
Often times in my work I witness the experience of our Clients and can never quite put my finger on it. The workplace just feels better, we know it, they know it, and we also know that this is because we’ve injected our magic (aka Study and Research..). Harvard Biologist EO Wilson, said we have an innate human need to affiliate with life. We need to be amongst living things.
So some of the benefits that we might not expect to experience just by adding a few of our green friends into the workplace are reduced stress and improved cognitive function, go figure! We can come to work and actually have our stress levels r e d u c e d – biophilia can enhance our mood and our creativity – stack those babies up! What’s not to love? Except I kill every plant I touch, just ask my sister, it’s true. #imnotproud.
But the best part?
If you’re like me and kill everything in sight, or you can’t put real “nature” into your space, you can fake it! Not joking! It’s not as effective, it’s true, but it does work! Your brain is looking for shapes and recognisable natural forms – I the absence of the real green stuff – fake that sh*t.
And – did I mention, Biophilia literally means Love of Life (I stole this, and credit it to the amazing Terrapin Bright Green Urban Design Company www.terrapinbrightgreen.com, out of the States, who I’ve been following for ages, they centre their sustainable designs around people and places).
What could be better?
Until next time, friends xo