We live in a world that is disconnected from nature. I remember being on vacation with a friend on the beach. As we were relaxing listening to the waves crashing on the shore, my friend let out a laugh. When queried, he said the laugh was because he had a noise machine at home with wave sounds, but the waves were very rhythmic. He realized that the real thing, however, while lying on the beach, was anything but rhythmic.
This is also one of the reasons why I am a big fan of hiking. It brings you back into touch with nature. Starting when Keegan was about 6 months old, for the next several years we did weekly hikes with him riding in my backpack. As he became old enough to communicate effectively, he was very adamant about being the one to say “good morning” to each hiker we passed going the other way. Contrast this with the guttural “Eh” you get as you nod to the guy walking by you at the gym. The attitude is just different.
With this in mind, the results of this particular study should come as no surprise. Researchers looked at what effect real plants as well as posters of nature in the waiting room had on patients’ perceived stress levels while waiting for a procedure. Patients exposed to these items in the waiting room reported lower levels of experience related stress.
Definitely makes me re-evaluate the paintings and photos in the waiting room here…