Taking Notice Of Nature And Happiness
Simply focusing on nature could help make you happier. This conclusion stems from a study at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan’s campus. Researcher Holli-Anne Passmore asked 395 students to participate in a two-week experiment. She divided them into three groups: one was assigned to observe nature, anything from a bird, to a tree at a bus stop, even sun coming through a window. The students were asked to take photos and record their responses to what they saw. A second group was asked to do the same with human-made objects, while a third “control” group didn’t have to do either. The result: more than 2,500 photos and written descriptions of thoughts and emotions. Afterward, Passmore assessed the emotional states of the students in the three groups, and reported that well-being, happiness, sense of elatedness, and level of connectedness to other people was significantly higher among those in the nature group than in those assigned to notice how human built objects made them feel, or among those in the control group. Bottom line: just noticing nature as you encounter it day by day can help increase your happiness and feeling of well-being.
Holli-Anne Passmore and Mark D. Holder, “Noticing nature: Individual and social benefits of a two-week intervention.” The Journal of Positive Psychology, August 24, 2016, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2016.1221126
Also in this week’s bulletin: