The view and the sounds of nature have healing power. We all feel better after already a short walk in nature. But what are the actual physical changes that seeing, hearing and feeling nature brings about and how you can incorporate nature’s effects within four walls of your home?
How nature can heal us
Birds whistling, tree leaves dancing in the wind, repetitive waves rolling onto the beach.. the sounds of nature calm us down. While human noise can do us harm, nature sounds can heal us. Music has the power to energise us, but only nature sounds (or music including nature sounds) can actually lower agitation levels, lower blood pressure and relief pain. Scientists found these significant effects in e.g. patients under mechanical ventilator support, cardiac surgery patients, patients undergoing painful bronchoscopy or bone marrow biopsy.
As opposed to machine noise or people shouting, nature sounds doesn’t trigger a fight or flight response. These waves, trees and birds (yes, even the pidgeons), subconsciouly give us a safe feeling. Seeing nature, even from a window or on a mural, boosts the effect of nature sounds on your body. But of course, nothing trumps a walk in nature.
Earthing or grounding
Our bodies build up positive electric charge in contact with modern appliances and objects. Contact with nature will even this out, because of a mildly negative charge. This is called earthing or grounding. For this, real physical contact with nature will enable electrons to flow into the body where they can neutralise inflammatory damage, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, lower stress hormones, normalise blood pressure and blood flow and increase energy (Chevalier, Sinatra, Oschman, Sokal & Sokal, 2012). Often, this is done by walking barefoot outside or “hugging trees”.
Tips for at home
To make use of these nature healing effects, always open the curtains on windows to gardens. Open it too, to hear the nature sounds. Inside the home, you can also make changes, like hanging a painting or creating a mural with nature’s picture, or bring in extra flowers and plants.
To fall asleep peacefully or to create a regenerating meditation space, you can consider playing nature sounds or music with nature sounds. Below you can find the nature playlist that I like for this. I also use them when something just upset me or made me angry, I find it helps to bring me some peace.
A last tip I can give you is to buy an ionizer. Although somewhat expensive, a good one helps a lot for clean air, which is good for your health.Like trees and plants do naturally, it makes use of negative charge to take out small dust particles, pollen, bacterua and viruses from my bedroom. I regularly switch it on one hour before going to bed and switch it of when I’m going to sleep.
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