In most cases, going into Nature is the best therapy, but when that is not possible, evidence shows that a view of Nature through a window is very beneficial in its own right.
Amazingly enough, if the view from your window is not a natural landscape, hanging a picture of a view of a vibrant, green and growing nature scene as viewed through a window aids in healing nearly as much!
But it must be a view through a window. A picture of nature, as lovely as that is, does not deliver the same effect. This startling information is what led me to create Natural Healing Views, my beautiful, green and healing landscapes as seen through a window.
Here are excepts and links to scientific research explaining why and how a Natural Healing View promotes health and wellness. Each title is a link to the full information page.
Using Nature Scenes in Healing:
Biophilia: Does Visual Contact with Nature Impact on Health and Well-Being?
One approach relevant to the task of distinguishing between visual and non-visual effects is to consider the outcome of simply viewing Nature through a window or seeing pictures of Nature. To the extent that looking at Nature makes a difference, the other possible explanations can normally be ruled out. It has been reported that viewing natural landscapes provides psychological and health benefits, including a reduction in stress.
Having a hospital window with a view has been shown to improve healing, reflected in both the level of pain medication and the speed of recovery after surgery.”
In reviewing this issue, Velarde et al found that natural landscapes have a consistent positive health effect, while urban landscapes can have a negative effect.
View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery
Records on recovery after cholecystectomy of patients in a suburban Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined to determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a natural setting might have restorative influences. Twenty-three surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses’ notes, and took fewer potent analgesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with windows facing a brick building wall.”
The effect of nature as positive distractibility on the Healing Process of Patients with cancer in therapeutic settings.
RESULTS: Findings of the study indicate that admitted patients viewing natural scenery had less anxiety (P < 0.001) and pain (P = 0.02) than admitted patients viewing no natural scenes.
CONCLUSION: Natural scenes caused to reduce the pain and anxiety, so using this healing power of nature leads to positive distraction.”
How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies
People who are exposed to natural scenes aren’t just happier or more comfortable; the very building blocks of their physiological well-being also respond positively.
When the researcher looked at their recovery charts, he was struck by how much better the patients fared when their rooms looked out onto the trees rather than the brick wall. On average, those who faced the brick wall needed an extra day to recover before returning home. They were also far more depressed and experienced more pain. On average, their nurses recorded four negative notes per patient — comments like “needs much encouragement” and “upset and crying” — whereas those with a view of the trees warranted negative notes only once during their stay. Meanwhile, very few of the patients who looked out onto the trees required more than a single dose of strong painkillers during the middle part of their stay, whereas those facing the wall required two or even three doses. Apart from their view, the patients were very similar, and they had received identical treatment at the hospital. Each patient with a view of the trees was matched with a patient whose room looked out onto the brick wall, so that their age, gender, weight, status as smokers or nonsmokers, and attending doctors and nurses were controlled as tightly as possible. Since those factors were controlled, the only explanation was that patients who looked out at a stand of trees recovered more quickly because they were lucky enough to occupy rooms with a natural view.”
Interesting locations, including busy natural environments, are so beneficial that physicians have begun to suggest that they might offer a cheap and effective way to lessen the effects of certain cancers.
How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?
Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality, according to scientists such as public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell.”