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Lets talk Biophillia


Do you feel ‘better’ when you are able to spend time in nature?


I have just learned about this and now you will find it very interesting as well, especially those of you who have gone a little indoor plant mad of late or love to head out camping or to the beach. This is likely a biological urge as old as time!


Biophillia is defined as the innate human instinct to connect with Nature and other living beings. Many of us seek out quiet time in nature, we feel calm or at peace in and around nature. This often seems to linger some time after we have headed back to our sterile offices and cars and homes. Consider the last time you drove back from the beach or the forest, that feeling of calm and rejuvenation.


We have recently seen a big #inspo shift with influencers showing off their indoor plants and yes they look beautiful but what if they were actually improving your wellbeing too! Think of the amount of plants you could justify having, well keep reading…….


Recently covid had the government placing emergency orders on the country and many of us went into lockdowns, even then it was mandated for our health and wellbeing an exercise period outdoors each day. Even the public health system recognises the need for fresh air and being outdoors. Studies have shown that as little as 2 hours a week spent outdoors can lift your mood and increase overall life satisfaction!


Grinde and Patil, (2009) discovered that a lack of nature, even a simple ‘absence of plants’ contributed to undesirable health outcomes. The relationship and positive affiliation with nature and our environment can be traced back through ancient populations, has close links with spirituality and helped humans make sense of themselves and their place in the world. With our constant technological improvements and extensive development we have become disconnected with nature and many argue this is in part why we are facing a climate crisis. Now many of us feel an intense pull to return to nature as a result of being so removed from it, unfortunately our individual passions to reverse the damage are not mirrored by governments and industry.


The good news is Grinde and Patil, (2009) also found that the effects of being disconnected from nature could be reversed or at least mitigated by simple changes and behaviours at an individual level as well. Visual access to nature, to plants, indoor plants or a window with a view of them, water, natural fibres, cloth and furniture all make a difference.


When was the last time you simply sat outside for no reason and connected with nature? Take 2 minutes today, everyday and go outdoors, breathe, sit or stand on the earth and connect. Even working in a busy city you can find small pockets of nature, a butterfly, a spider creating a web, keep your eyes peeled and encourage the natural world into your awareness.


Add plants to your home; keep them in high traffic areas. Without spending money you could head to a friend or neighbour and propagate some cuttings in a clean jar, or maybe propagate some of your own and gift them? Give the gift of wellness to a friend.


Do you have a bubbling oil diffuser? The mist and the water also symbolise nature.


Maximise natural light, open your blinds or sleep with them partly open so the morning light wakes you in a gentle way, this is also really good for your circadian rhythm. Open the window if you can, let the fresh air into your space.


Try playing nature sounds as background sound when you can, at the office or at home or when you fall asleep.


  • Can you think of other ways to bring nature and the elements into your living and surroundings?

  • Do you think a closer connection with nature would mean we prioritised climate conservation?


References:

Biophilia hypothesis | Description, Nature, and Human Behavior | Britannica. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/science/biophilia-hypothesis


Fisher, K. (2019). An Evidence-Based Biophilic Design Framework for Health and Wellbeing. https://anzasca.net/paper/an-evidence-based-biophilic-design-framework-for-health-and-wellbeing/


Grinde, B., and Patil, G. G. (2009). Biophilia: Does Visual Contact with Nature Impact on Health and Well-Being? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 6(9), 2332–2343. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6092332


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