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Bringing Nature Into The Workplace

Joanna Clare

We all know the importance of spending regular amounts of time in nature, not only for our physical health but also for our mental health.

The stigma of mental illness is rapidly dissipating and we are actively encouraged to admit when we are struggling and to seek help.  

Always consult a doctor or mental health practitioner in the first instance as there is no substitute for  professional advice and treatment.

However, if we are able to acknowledge that we need to lower stress levels, there is nothing better than the effects of nature upon our mental wellbeing and this is a key part in maintaining wellness and aiding recovery.

Time and time again, research proves that being in nature has a very definite and positive impact on our brains and in turn, stress levels are reduced. We become happier, more creative, our minds become clearer and we feel better connected to others. This allows us to see the ‘bigger picture’ in life and with this we can gain more clarity and fresh perspectives.

But what if we don't have a job that takes us outside on a regular basis and we are confined to an office environment most of the week? Well, here is the good news…we can bring elements of nature into the  workplace.

Opening windows not only allows ventilation but fresh air can be quite invigorating. Through windows we can listen to the rain drops, look upwards to the sky and become mindful of trees, animals and birds throughout the rhythm of the seasons and perhaps noting the changes.

Tending to the office plants or indeed your own plant on your desk can lead to improved workplace satisfaction and, according to a study, this leads to an increase in work productivity.

Some workplaces are realising the calming and inspiring effect that nature has on its employees and so are incorporating something called biophilic design whereby natural lighting is introduced into the office environment along with natural textures and environmentally friendly furnishings.. Tranquil colour schemes that replicate the colours of nature are also being utilised more, in addition to specialised varieties of plant and tree species that thrive indoors and soothing water features.

Large prints that show simple yet powerful scenes of nature such as a beautiful sunrise, a solitary bird or the ocean waves can also bring about feelings of calm and gratitude.

However we decide to bring a little nature into the office, the power of nature should never be underestimated especially when it's to do with our own mental and emotional wellbeing.

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