*Slowing Down From Daily Rat Race & Observing Nature Boosts Personal Well-Being* Simply taking time to notice
nature can increase your
general happiness and
well-being, a study has found.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia
(UBC) in Canada examined the
connection between taking a
moment to look at something
from the natural environment
and personal well-being.
The study involved a two week ‘intervention’ where 395 participants were asked to doc-
ument how encounters with nature in their daily routine made
They took a photograph of the item that caught their atten-
tion, and jotted down a short note about their feelings in response to it. In the study, published in the ‘Journal of Posi-
tive Psychology’, other participants tracked their reactions to
human-made objects, also taking a photograph and jotting
down their feelings, while a third group did neither.
Holli-Anne Passmore, a PhD psychology student at UBC, noted that examples of nature
could be anything not built by human beings: a house plant, a
dandelion growing in a crack in a sidewalk, birds, or Sun through a window.
“This wasn’t about spending hours outdoors or going for long walks in the wilderness,”
she added. “This is about the tree at a bus stop in the middle of a city,
and the positive effect that one
tree can have on people,” Passmore said.
According to a report in ‘Science Daily’, Passmore added
that she was “overwhelmed not
only by the response of the
study participants more than
2,500 photos and descriptions of
emotions were submitted but
also by the impact that simply
noticing emotional responses
to nearby nature had on personal well-being. And their proso-
cial orientation a willingness
to share resources and the value they placed on community”.
There is scientific documentation that people who live in
green spaces generally seem to
be happier, and may live longer
than those who do not.
“The difference in participants’ well-being their happiness, sense of elevation, and
their level of connectedness to
other people, not just nature
was significantly higher than
participants in the group noticing how human-built objects
made them feel and the control
group,” she said.