I’ve always been a person who can’t live without a healthy fix of nature. As a designer, I find the natural world influences my daily work and helps me stay creative and productive.
I’m currently sitting in my home office where three walls are green, the fourth displays William Morris’ Strawberry Thief, and I have at least ten plants surrounding me. Since I spend over 8 hours a day in this room, I decided to bring the likeness of the forest indoors.
“Laura, why are you so obsessed with trees?” I hear you say. It stems from Shinrin yoku — the art of forest bathing, also known as canopy therapy. Originating in Japan, it’s the practice of immersing yourself in nature and is scientifically proven to help alleviate stress, anxiety and creative block whilst improving immunity, energy, and mood.
I believe you can also nurture your workplace well-being with a daily dose of nature — here’s how:
Take your lunch break in a natural setting – it will help with problem-solving.
Walking through a forest or park activates all your senses; the sound of moving water, the smell of petrichor, the sight of flowering buds, the feeling of the sun (or rain if you’re up North) on your face, the taste of fresh air — it all clears your mind and increases your positive thoughts. You see things in a better light.
Research at the universities of Utah and Kansas measured a 50% boost in problem solving and creativity in people that had immersed themselves in a natural setting.