In today’s world, we live in cities which are concrete jungles, with skyscrapers and buildings seen everywhere you turn. The tussle between man and nature is unfortunately, being won hands down by man-with nature becoming something of a luxury and not a necessity. Though recent information about climate change and the long-lasting impact it will have on us is encouraging humans to start caring about nature the way they are supposed to. However, the effects of nature have always been known and having the ability to appreciate nature is essential for various reasons.
The line: ‘An eye to see nature” is one of the ten points in Frank Lloyd Wright’s manifesto, a world-renowned architect. He created his manifesto for his students however, decades later, it still proves to be a source of inspiration for many. He strongly advocated being close to nature and using it as a guide towards creating design, as he felt that humans must learn how to co-exist with nature, and not how-to over-power it. Research has further augmented his beliefs and the impact of being surrounded by nature, or even taking out some time to be one with nature is multifold.
Nature and how it affects health
The healing effect of nature has been stressed upon since decades. Earlier, doctors advised their patients to retire to places which were away from cities, to be closer to nature, when there were no medical ways of treating their patients. Though medical science has developed at an exceptional rate and medical therapies are available for most conditions, doctors still encourage their patients to get fresh air and surround themselves with nature.
Research has now demonstrated that patients who were kept in rooms with a view of nature, healed more rapidly and with better results after surgery, compared to those who had a view of a wall. Furthermore, research has also demonstrated a decrease in eyesight problems, blood pressure, heart problems and enhances memory and problem-solving skills. People who spend a significant time surrounded by nature, such as those living in the countryside or in areas which are relatively less urbanized, live healthier lives.
Nature and how it impacts mental well-being
In the fast-paced world we live in, dealing with stress, anxiety and depression has become more pronounced. The need to perform and always be better than those around us, has increased stress and anxiety levels. However, we tend to ignore these feelings-further worsening them. Fortunately, there is a way of reducing such feelings, without having to put in major effort.
Nature is known specifically for its soothing effect on our mind, with research showing that the presence of a single plant in a room can reduce stress levels. This is something which most of us have already experienced, and every time when life gets particularly over-whelming, going out and getting some fresh air will definitely help soothe and calm your thoughts. Nature is also known to have distracting properties, so people who are either physically unwell or mentally suffering, can indulge in nature and will find their pains easing.
Owing to these properties of nature, it isn’t surprising when we hear that doctors strongly recommend interaction with nature when dealing with patients who suffer from anxiety and depression, often resulting in a serious change in the patient’s condition.
Nature can increase attention span
Another bane of the modern world is the major decrease in everyone’s attention spans. Previously, people would spend hours doing the same tasks or would read books which were thousands of pages long. Today, this seems like an impossible task. Our attention spans have drastically changed when compared to that of our ancestors, and we can’t even focus our attention on one task at a time. If we are watching a movie, we check our phones every once in a while. Even when we are in nature, we feel it is more important to use our phones to pass the time when in reality, we need to embrace the beauty of nature.
Our decreased attention spans can prove to be crippling in certain instances, especially when it comes to completing tasks which might prove to be boring. However, nature has a solution for this as well and the increase in attention span after engaging with nature has now been documented. Furthermore, research also indicates that those patients who suffer from ADHD can benefit immensely by interacting with nature.
Nature can help you connect with others
When you live in or visit areas which are surrounded by nature, there are more chances of you interacting with other people. This is because the presence of nature attracts humans and encourages interaction. Studies support this fact and it has been seen that individuals who live in areas with trees, live more connected lives, with a greater sense of community. Furthermore, they also had better coping abilities, thus ensuring that they were mentally stronger than others.
Other than connecting with others, Nature has also been known to help humans connect with their surroundings, increasing spiritual well-being. When humans interact with nature, they tend to acknowledge the abundance that they are surrounded by which in turn, helps them feel more grateful for the things they have. This ultimately leads to positive thoughts and growth, ensuring that individuals reach a higher degree of happiness.
Nature increases creativity
The main reason why Frank Lloyd Wright included Nature in his manifesto is because he felt it was essential to see nature, for his students to truly command their art. Nature can inspire us in numerous ways, as it is something which humans can’tcontrol, and this leads to us being fascinated by it.
Accepting the multiple advantages of nature should encourage us to alter our habits in a way which ensures that we interact with nature significantly, thus making sure that we are able to flourish in every way possible-ranging from physical well-being to mental well-being to it aiding us in our professional endeavors as well.