Improve Mood/Increase Feelings of Wellbeing

Good Lighting, Evolving (04-13-21)

Which light is best? Houser and colleagues report that “light is still for vision, and lighting for visibility, visual comfort and visual amenity is as important as ever. Complementing the old is new awareness and responsibility for how light and lighting influence non-visual responses in humans. Circadian, neuroendocrine and neurobehavioural responses are important for human health and should be considered on-par with visual responses. This awareness leads toward lighting design solutions with increased contrast between day and night.

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. . .

Types of Sitting and Wellbeing (04-06-21)

Sui and colleagues have determined that different sorts of seated experiences influence our psychological wellbeing in varying ways, with, in general greater levels of sedentary behavior linked to lower wellbeing.  The team reports that via a literature review they found that “most studies demonstrated a weak, detrimental association between indices of SB [sedentary behavior] and outcomes of hedonic well-being . . . device-based SB was either weakly and negatively related or unrelated to hedonic well-being outcomes. . . .

The Design of Birthing Suites (04-02-21)

Physical and other concerns related to birthing suite design were studied by Carlsson, Larsson, and Jormfeldt.  Their literature review reports “a need to create a space for childbirth underpinned by four aspects; a homely space, a spiritual space, a safe space, and a territorial space. . . . A homely space was characterized by a place where the woman didn´t have to adapt to the environment. . . . In essence, a homely space contributed to a feeling of being at home, a non-threatening, comfortable relaxing space for the women, which implied a sense of belonging. . . .

Urban Nature and Pandemic Experiences (03-22-21)

Olszewska-Guizzo and colleagues studied links between nature experiences and the psychological state of people who lived in Singapore during its 7 week COVID-19 lockdown (known as a stay-at-home order or SHO).  Data assessed were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately after the SHO ended.  The research team determined, by showing participants videos of urban public spaces (Busy Downtown, Residential Green, and Lush Garden) filmed before the pandemic that “Post SHO, brain activity and responsiveness to landscapes changed. . .

Circadian Lighting, By Age (03-03-21)

Tian, Chen, and Hu looked at appropriate levels of circadian stimulus (CS) by age.  They determined that “the effect of the CS increased with CCT from 4000 K to 8000 K at the same age as a general trend; however, the CCT of 2700 K shows a higher circadian impact compared to that of 4000 K for the same age groups. . . . In order to provide sufficient CS, the minimum corneal illuminance for children and elderly is 250 lx and 380 lx, respectively, when the CCT of the light source was 2700 K.

Daylight Variation (03-02-21)

Finnish researchers studied how seasonal sunlight variations influence mood.  Their findings, published in The Journal of Neuroscience,are useful in a variety of contexts, for example, for better understanding research data collected.  The investigators report that “the length of daylight affects the opioid receptors, which in turn regulates the mood we experience. Seasons have an impact on our emotions and social life. Negative emotions are more subdued in the summer, whereas seasonal affective disorder rates peak during the darker winter months.

More on Scenting (02-23-21)

Cotneilio and colleagues studied relationships between sense of agency and scents.  Sense of agency (SoA) is described as “ the feeling of ‘I did that’ as opposed to ‘the system did that’ supporting a feeling of being in control.”  The team “investigated, for the first time, the effect of smell-induced emotions on the SoA. . . . participants were exposed to three scents with different valence (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral).  Our results show that participants’ SoA increased with a pleasant scent compared to neutral and unpleasant scents.”      

Plant Fragrance (02-18-21)

Research completed by Jiang and colleagues indicates that plant scents can augment wellbeing. The Jiang lead team describe their research: “Non-fragrant Primula malacoides Franchwas used as a control stimulus, and Primula forbesii Franch, which has a floral fragrance, was used as an experimental stimulus. . . . We found that mean blood pressure and pulse rate decreased significantly after the experiment in both conditions. . . .  the vitality (V) subscale and total emotional state scores were significantly better in the experimental vs. control condition. . . .

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