Depression and Nature Views (04-07-21)

Evidence continues to grow indicating that people who are depressed have different visual experiences than those who are not. Meuwese found that when “After viewing a stressful video, participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions, in which they watched a video of a walk in either (1) natural, or (2) built surroundings. . . . In both experiments, participants with more (rather than less) depressive symptoms displayed more stress reduction after viewing nature rather than built settings. . . . People with more depressive symptoms benefited more from viewing nature. . . . These findings suggest that nature-based interventions may be especially beneficial among people suffering from depressive symptoms. . . .Incorporating photographs or videos of nature as a background in clinical settings that may be experienced as stressful, such as waiting rooms or therapists’ offices, could reduce stress for people suffering from depression.”  Also, “Prior research has shown that viewing natural scenery can improve mood and reduce stress.”

Daphne Meuwese, Karin Dijkstra, Jolanda Maas, and Sander Koole.  “Beating the Blues by Viewing the Green:  Depressive Symptoms Predict Greater Restoration from Stress and Negative Affect After Viewing a Nature Video.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press,