Did you know that you can relieve stress in minutes merely by viewing a short video?
A report in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows how.
Researchers got 120 college students and had them watch a stressful accident prevention video which showed simulated mutilation among other stressful contents. Each person’s stress level was then measured.
After watching the video half the participants watched a film of pedestrians walking in an urban environment. The other half watched a scene in a natural environment.
Researchers discovered that those watching the nature film had their stress go down in just 3 minutes. Those watching the urban films had their stress levels continue to rise.
According to these researchers one of many theories that explains this result is that natural environments that have lush vegetation and water signaled to our ancestors that we were in a safe environment in which food would be plentiful.
Other studies have shown that after doing very demanding tasks, that merely looking at photos of nature can restore your ability to pay attention to the next task.
Once I learned of the power of nature to relieve stress and restore my ability to focus, I changed my desktop theme and screensaver to natural images. I also make sure that I do my runs on the nearby trail instead of just running around the block. I’m also planning on adding at least one plant to my office and to my living room.
So how do you plan to use this information to help yourself?
Besides the ideas I’ve mentioned above you may want to consider looking at slide shows of nature or nature videos during your breaks from work.
One great source I use are the nature slideshows at SlideShare.net. You can see one of them at this link:
Please comment on these ideas below.
Note: The research shows that the images of nature do not need to be spectacular to produce positive results.
Reference to the study above:
Stress Recovery During Exposure to Natural and Urban Environments
Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 11, Issue 3, September 1991; Roger S. Ulrich, Robert F. Simons, Barbara D. Losito, Evelyn Fiorito, Mark A. Miles, Michael Zelson