Spending time outside is good for us, really good for us. So it makes sense that being able to see more of the outdoors from our homes is also good for us, because it connects to that feel-good part of the brain that is active when we go outdoors. More windows, bifold doors and certain changes in the home to bring more light in and give more views to the outdoors can only be a good thing. If you want many of the benefits of being outside whilst you’re inside, there are plenty of solutions, but first, let’s take a look at the evidence so you know exactly why being outside and seeing outside is beneficial to you:
We’re Built To Be Outside
In an article published by National Geographic, the fact that we are built to be in nature is discussed by book Author Florence Williams who has written extensively about the topic. The inspiration comes from something called the Mappiness Project which was completed by George McKerron and which looked at all the different things we do as humans that make us happy as people would input into an app what they were doing and how it made them feel. The project showed very clearly that people were happiest when they were outside, and Miss Williams did a lot of research into the benefits of the outdoors and came up with a nature fix method, which talks about how we should dose ourselves with nature like we do medicine, as part of a wellbeing regime. You can hear Miss Williams talk about the nature fix method here.
Nature Can Reduce Crime
In a scientific article by Frances Keo written in 2001, it was discussed that nature might well be able to reduce crime rates. The article was based on a study completed on a Chicago housing block, which was surrounded by trees, greenery and vegetation. The block saw a lot less crime on people or buildings compared to other blocks surrounded by moe buildings rather than nature. The study also showed that even very small amounts of greenery had a positive effect on lowering crime rates. It is thought that the natural surroundings help promote relaxation, and also help reduce aggression. Green spaces allow people the space to come together, and therefore be out and about where criminals might otherwise thrive on empty streets. The greenery is also likely to promote a sense of worth in a block where criminals might otherwise want to damage and destroy property.
The Forest Is Medicine
There is a Japanese method of natural medicine which was developed in the 80’s called Shinrin Yoku. The term means ‘taking in the first atmosphere’ and it is based on researchers who lived in Japan finding and writing about masses of evidence that living in the forest is supremely beneficial. The idea of Shinrin Yoku is that you visit an area of natural beauty, a forest, a park, a field, and you get many free benefits such as feeling calmer, more relaxed and more restored afterwards.
Vitamin D Makes Us Happy
A Harvard Health publication called ‘A prescription for better health go alfresco‘ discussed the many health benefits of being outside, including the fact we naturally absorb Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because catching the sunlight in our skin triggers our body naturally producing the vitamin which we need to help us fight disease, to keep us happy and to keep lots of parts of the body working as they should. You only need ten minutes in the sun to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
Seeing Nature Is Good For You
In an article by Scientific American called ‘How hospital gardens help patients heal’ they discuss the masses of data that support just looking at views which include flowers, trees and other natural features can help reduce stress and pain and make us feel more relaxed and less anxious. They even discuss a study from the 90’s where heart surgery patients benefited from paintings or photos that depicted nature.
So now you know just a few reasons why being in nature, and seeing nature is good for you, let’s supply you with some easy tips to enhance your inside life, with the benefits of the outdoors:
As you read earlier, natural art including photos of art of paintings depicting art is proven to have benefits, so why not buy some new natural art and liven up your walls. Even better, grab your camera and go get some photos of nature taken by you!
Cleaner Windows, Clearer Windowsills
This sounds so simple but we are all guilty of seeing the windowsill as an extra shelf at times and it can easily become clogged up with books, paperwork, plants and ornaments. This is blocking the natural light from coming in, so it is well worth getting minimalist on your window ledges. When you clear the sill you might notice that the window is a bit grubby, in which case you’ll want it to be clean. The cleaner and clearer your views of the outdoors are the better.
External Bifold Doors
You might have a single door going into the back garden, or perhaps doors which don’t allow you to see the garden much. If this is the case, you are neglecting to enjoy your most beneficial asset at home: your garden. In terms of how being outdoors benefits your health, your garden is your own personal bit of outdoors to enjoy if you can’t leave to get to a forest or a park. You should have easy access to it, and if possible easy ways to see it as well. External bifold doors leading to the garden afford you those privileges in the most practical, convenient and beautiful way.
Having plants in your home is really good for your health in many ways. First and foremost they clean the air for you, so your lungs benefit. They also bring the outdoors in, which is great for your wellbeing.
A Sheltered Garden Area
Your garden is your own private outdoor space to enjoy. If you can’t enjoy it then you should certainly prioritise converting it so you can enjoy it and reap the benefits of it. Maybe you need to hire a landscaper, or perhaps everything just needs cutting back. Perhaps you can’t sit in it because the sun is too hot in summer, and in the winter it is too wet and windy. Why not create a sheltered area to enjoy that gives you protection from the weather, enabling you to be outdoors in any weather.
Hopefully you’re now excited to enjoy the health benefits of nature. It is so incredible that you can simply look outside or walk outside and enjoy so many good things happening to your mind and body, and its free so, what are you waiting for? See you on the outside.