If you’ve ever marvelled at a dazzling sunset or listened to the birds singing as you walked through the park, you probably know how incredible it is to spend time in nature. In fact, these feel-good vibes are backed up by scientific research.
Evidence shows that being outdoors has numerous health benefits: exposure to nature can boost your well-being and happiness, reduce stress and improve your attention and cognitive functioning. But that’s not all – those who spend time in green spaces have a lower chance of experiencing depression symptoms or high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, getting outside is not always possible for various reasons, like being unwell or feeling overwhelmed by all your responsibilities. Not to mention that if you live in the city, instead of lovely trees, you’re surrounded by buildings.
But don’t worry – you’re not meant to live your life disconnected from nature. With some small but intentional changes, you can unlock incredible perks – just as if you’d go through a walk in the park. Without further ado, here is how to welcome nature into your home and create a wellness sanctuary…
Did you know that plants can boost your well-being? That’s right – they have powerful health benefits and can breathe new life into your living space, improving air quality, promoting better sleep, and relieving anxiety. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
You can invest in flower pots and turn your home into beautiful greenery. But here’s one thing you should note: you won’t enjoy all the benefits of your plants if you place them in a corner and forget about them. Why not sit mindfully with your plants and engage all your senses as you study them?
This means touching their leaves and branches and paying attention to the plants’ smell – we know this can be awkward initially, but once you shake the feeling off, you’ll become relaxed as you ground yourself in the present moment.
Incorporating greenery into your home is one of the best ways to connect with nature, and caring for your plants will generate feelings of love and appreciation. So, what are you waiting for? Buy your flower pots and reap the amazing benefits of interacting with your plant buddies!
Display nature artwork
According to this review, viewing nature in 3D images, video format and so on generates relaxed body responses compared with images that don’t relate to nature. So, consider displaying artwork in your home that strengthens your relationship with the outdoors, such as a mountain painting or a photo of the beach.
Suppose you buy new artwork; a great idea is to look for an image of a horizon or a winding pathway that you don’t know where it ends. Such pieces with an air of mystery deliver extra benefits because they can add a sense of curiosity to your home’s design.
You can take things one step further by hanging your own nature-centric pictures. This way, you will turn your memories into artwork, making it more meaningful. Consider using reclaimed wood frames to display the images, enhancing the nature vibe in your cosy home.
Incorporate a water feature
Remember that time when you sat on the beach and listened to the soothing sounds of the ocean waves? You can probably recall the peace and freedom you felt at that moment. From a scientific perspective, water’s calming effects relate to its role in helping the body function properly and its capacity to drown out threatening noises, clearing your mind of anxiety.
The good news is that you can tap into these benefits by setting up a water feature in your living space, like a mini fountain which you can buy either from a local fair or online on websites like Amazon or Etsy. If you want to enhance the natural factor of the water feature, you can add rocks to its base – this will make it look more appealing.
Include natural texture
Adding natural texture to your living space helps create a tactile connection with nature, tremendously benefiting your well-being. As this study suggests, touching wood calms your prefrontal cortex – a brain area responsible for regulating emotions, thoughts, and behaviours – thus making you feel relaxed.
Wooden surfaces are great for this – from your floors to your furniture. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get that natural feel; you could choose engineered wood flooring to get the quality finish of real wooden floorboards but at a lower cost. It looks and feels like natural wood but is also moisture-resistant and long-lasting so it’s a practical choice too.
Other natural textures like bamboo, rattan and cork are ideal for bringing a feeling of outdoors into your home. And, if you plan to get a new throw or pillow for your couch, make sure it’s made of natural fabric like cotton, wool or linen. These materials have a unique texture, allowing you to explore nature through the tactile sense. For instance, you can buy a decorative cotton corduroy pillow for your armchair or a linen pillowcase for your bed.
Tap into your olfactory sense
More often than not, people experience nature visually, but as you’ve already probably figured out, you can connect with nature by using your other senses, too. For example, with an essential oil diffuser, you can infuse your home with smells that instantly remind you of the outdoors, be it lavender, the fragrance of a rose, or a pinewood forest.
Engaging with nature through the olfactory sense has a positive effect on your well-being, generating feelings of happiness and enjoyment. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy the smell of a nature-scented candle in their home? No other form of light can replicate the enchanting ambience of candles, making your home feel instantly warm and welcoming.
Indoor nature may not have the same impact on individuals as outdoor nature, but its benefits can’t be overlooked. From reducing heart rate and blood pressure to enhancing relaxation and mood, welcoming nature indoors keeps you healthy in many ways. Perhaps one of the most incredible benefits is that it helps you stay grounded in the present instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past.
Moreover, incorporating natural elements brings beauty and calm into your living space. Individuals are conditioned to believe that nature is out there, but the truth is that you can connect with it even from your own home, whether it’s the plant on your balcony or the ocean sounds emanating from your speakers. Let me know how you like to bring the outdoors into your home in the comments below.
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