It’s no secret that nature has health benefits. If this happens to be a news flash to you, then read up already!
When I set out to design a room for my son for the One Room Challenge, I wanted to keep in mind his particular needs and create a healthy environment for him, both mentally + physically. He faces many of the same stressors all teens face today, and then some. You name it-anxiety, germ-a-phobe, screen addiction, school pressures, so on and so on. While I had some general knowledge of how to implement wellness principles, I really wanted to be sure his space was one that he could retreat to in solace, escape pressures, calm his nerves, and find respite, as well as promote overall health. So, I dug in.
More than two thirds of people turn to nature when stressed. The good news is that you don’t even have to BE in nature to reap the health benefits-just viewing nature can reduce anger, fear, and stress, have a positive effect on recovery, and even increase happiness. Just one indoor plant can even do the trick!
Fortunately, my son totally digs plants. He’s actually quite the succulent aficionado and has been propagating and growing succulents for quite a few years now. He can grow a mean pathos to top it off. (Easiest plant ever to grow.) To be perfectly honest, he did not get his green thumb from me. I’m terrible at remembering to water anything! (The only reason my garden lasts is because I insisted on a sprinkler system.)
Oh yeah, and plants help keep our indoor air clean and free from pollutants! WIN-WIN!
Nature can actually reduce pain. What?! Because we naturally find trees, plants, water, and well, nature, mesmerizing, we are distracted from pain and distress. Replicating nature like implementing a water feature into a space adds a sense of calm and relaxation.
Now, we’ve already had a flood in our home. Placing water in a room where it seemingly doesn’t belong doesn’t thrill me…my son may have to turn on his bathroom sink faucet in a pinch. Or, he can utilize technology. (While this could pose an issue in my efforts to create a tech-free room. More on that at a later date.) With an Echo Dot, or any other Bluetooth speaker, you can easily stream nature sounds (ha! No pun intended), including flowing water into your space without have the fear of actual water that leaks, spills, and makes things wet that aren’t meant to be. (Having plants in the room that need to be watered is nerve wracking enough for me!)
Over and over again research has shown that being with nature improves overall wellbeing (in case you skimmed the first few paragraphs, I thought I’d say it again.) What else does it do besides heal and soothe? Nature also restores. With so many distractions, nature can actually increase our ability to pay attention, providing a reprieve for overactive minds, and refresh us for the next task at hand.
So, what are some other ways that I will be implementing nature into this space? Well, lucky me, my son wants white walls! Painting walls a bright color that reflects light will maximize sunlight. Of course, this means you have to let it in, so open your windows and doors people! Too hot? Too cold? No problem, just lift up that blackout shade or draw back the curtains and let the sunshine in.
It’s all true; nature heals + soothes + restores, but don’t just take my word for it. I get it; some of you need a rabbit hole. As long as you promise to come back and visit, here’s some articles I came across to get you started.