Images and Mindfulness (12-12-19)

Choe, Jorgensen, and Sheffield investigated mindfulness in the presence of different images, some depicting more natural spaces than others.  They determined that “Interventions (mindfulness, relaxation-based intervention) in natural environments led to greater nature connectedness, lower negative feelings and reduced depression and stress than those in non-natural environments. . . . Participants’ stress levels decreased significantly from baseline to one-week follow-up only in the mindfulness group in natural environments. . . . the mindfulness programme was more effective when carried out in a natural environment. In addition, the mindfulness group in natural environments continued to improve even after the intervention was completed.”  The images presented were  of a woodland, parkland, an urban setting (a historical area of a city with no visible vegetation, not a “busy commercial area” or a “main road”), and a room with white walls (no vegetation visible).  All images were accompanied by corresponding sounds: “such as bird song and wind rustling the leaves of trees-in the simulated natural settings; typical urban noises-such as people talking in the distance and distant traffic-in the simulated urban setting; and a ticking clock in the indoor setting.”

Eun Choe, Anna Jorgensen, and David Sheffield.  “Simulated Natural Environments Bolster the Effectiveness of a Mindfulness Programme: A Comparison with a Relaxation-Based Intervention.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.101382