What is so soothing about nature? Why do people talk about nature and relaxation? Can nature help you to relax? If so, how?
Intuitively we know that nature is healing. We are drawn to nature and wilderness. We go hiking, we love gardening, we swim in the ocean or in the lakes. We go for walks, or we go camping, and we sit by the campfire staring at the night sky.
Yes, we know that nature and relaxation are connected. We know all of this intuitively. We know that spending time in nature makes us feel good.
But there is more than just our intuition when it comes to nature and peaceful feelings. There is mounting scientific evidence that nature is healing.
Scientists discovered that nature helps us to recover faster from a stressful event. After showing people stressful scenes on a video (such as a car accident), scientists showed people either a video of nature or a video of city and buildings. Those who watched the video of nature recovered faster from the stressful event.
No wonder we love landscape photography! So, if you can’t go outside, look at pictures of nature. Science shows that it helps to lower your stress levels.
One of the reasons why nature and relaxation are connected is that being in nature helps us to connect with the present moment; we pay attention to the here and now – this moment and nothing else. We enjoy the beauty of the natural world and we stop having stressful thoughts; we stop worrying about the events of our lives – we simply enjoy the present moment in nature.
Looking at pictures of nature helps to create images of nature in your mind…and you benefit from this imagery. (Found on stress-relief-tools.com).
The above is an image of some rocks along the coast of Maine (from my last visit there a couple of years ago). I decided to play around with it in Photoshop and created this version. I liked the original image a lot but really enjoy looking at it after enhancing it with the ‘oil painting’ filter. I really love the interplay of all the neutrals and the textural quality it now has.
I hope you enjoy it too!