Biophilia: surround yourself with living things to live better

The need to be in contact with nature has never been felt as much as it is today.

With the pandemic that has not been discreet over the past year, we have all had to isolate ourselves in our little cocoons overnight and unite all our spheres of life in one place.

Telecommuting and homeschooling have meant huge extra workloads and time to adjust. So we managed to stay cloistered within four walls far from any contact with nature.

However, our hermit life is causing us to feel more and more a vital need to connect with nature.

Biophilia

Formed from the Greek root "bio" (life) and the suffix "philia" (who loves), the term biophilia designates the fundamental love of humans for living things. It was the famous biologist Edward O. Wilson who in 1984 raised the theory of biophilia, which states that humans have a fundamental need to be in contact with nature1.

Did you know that? That innate need to connect with the living. The one that makes you feel so good, so soothed, so refreshed when you are in nature.

Visualization

To help you understand better, just think of a typical day when you were working hard for several hours.

Remember how you felt before you took your well-deserved break. Did you feel like your head was about to explode, were you at a loss for words, or were you at the height of your productivity?

Now think about a break you took to be on your phone or to watch TV.

After your break, did you notice a difference in your productivity, concentration, creativity or well-being?

No? Well, that's normal.

Now think about a break you took to get some fresh air.

Remember the feeling you had when you took your first breath of air outside, when you saw the greenery of the trees and heard the birds singing or the water running nearby.

Think about what you felt inside? Was it stress or a kind of zenitude?

When you returned from your break, did you feel different than you did 30 minutes ago? Like all of a sudden you could handle any project?

Yes, that's normal.

Why is that? We're getting there!

Why is nature so beneficial to humans?

Louis Bherer, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal and deputy scientific director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, was mandated by the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) to extract the most important findings about biophilia.

Science has proven that simply having eye contact with green landscapes, bodies of water and natural light is enough to be beneficial on a psychological, physiological and cognitive level.

The "cognitive benefits" and "other benefits" have such an impact on humans that they are currently the subject of more in-depth studies by specialists around the world.

Here are the various findings of March 2021, as presented in Dr. Bherer's research report2 :

Psychological benefits

- Reduction of stress

- Restorative feeling

- Reduction of depression and negative emotions

- Improvement of mood

- Increased vitality, decreased fatigue

Physiological benefits

- Reduction of heart rate

- Decrease in blood pressure

- Decrease in sympathetic nervous activity

- Increase in parasympathetic nervous activity

- Reduction in cortisol levels

Cognitive benefits

- Improved productivity and learning ability

- Stimulation of creativity and inspiration

- Restores attention and memory

- Reduces mental fatigue and confusion

Other benefits

- Improved spiritual well-being

- Increased social cohesion and support

- Raising awareness and positive behavior regarding the environment and sustainability

How can you maximize this precious contact with nature?

Would you like to take advantage of all the health benefits nature has to offer, but don't know how?

Here are several simple and effective ways to bring nature to you!

- Optimize exposure to natural light, i.e. sunlight

- Use materials with natural looking patterns (wood, bamboo, cork)

- Use materials with colors reminiscent of nature (green, blue, yellow)

- Put plants everywhere inside and outside to have a permanent visual contact

- Open the windows to feel the fresh air and to hear the natural sounds of the outside such as water running, wind, birds singing, etc...

- Add water sources nearby (aquarium, pond, fountain)

A last but not least way would be to get the HerbiaEra CS1. Its natural wood cover filled with living and smelling plants will perfect your need to be close to nature.

Connect with nature and take the time to listen to your body.

It will thank you.