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Viewing Nature Scenes Help You to Heal


Scientists have long known the act of observing nature has distinct healing properties. Research carried out in the 1980s found hospital patients with views of trees recovered more quickly; showed decreased need for pain and anxiety medication; had fewer post-operative complications; were most positive in their feelings; than patients with views of a blank or brick wall. The benefits appeared to be greatest for patients who spent long periods of time in a confined setting. When people feel better, they also heal faster.

Viewing nature scenes can help us to momentarily feel part of an uplifting environment as if we were there experiencing it for ourselves. This feeling quickly alters the biochemical processes in the body with positive associations toward healing and pain reduction. One study found natural scenes help calm us down, lowers anxiety and makes us feel happier. 

Nature scenes also help to sharpen mental performance and reduce mental fatigue. Researchers in Australia discovered focusing on a view of nature for 45-60 seconds acts a micro-break helping to sharpen brain networks relating to attention and working memory performance. You can even receive benefits just by observing a view of greenery through a window or simply looking at a beautiful nature photograph.

If you are forced to spend lots of time indoors ensure you have views of greenery, or if this is not possible, place photos of nature in your work and home space. Color is a powerful stimulant and photographs of nature help to create energy, optimism, minimise negativity and help you think clearer. Visualization of a nature scene can also help to relax you during meditation or mental timeouts.