Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress

Companions and Stress Levels (02-06-20)

Qi lead a research team that confirmed that having others nearby can be desirable in many stressful situations.   In areas where people will have stressful experiences, at least some seats, according to the Qi team, should allow people to see others in the same space. Qi and colleagues report that “In our study, participants experienced aversive and neutral sounds alone (alone treatment) or with an unknown person that was physically present without providing active support [there was no social or physical interaction].

Virtual Nature and Mental Health (01-16-19)

Browning and colleagues have determined that virtual nature experiences can have the same effects on mental health as “real” ones.  The team reports that “Nature exposure in virtual reality (VR) can provide emotional well-being benefits for people who cannot access the outdoors. . . . [the researchers compared] the effects of 6 min of outdoor nature exposure with 6 min of exposure to a 360-degree VR nature video, which is recorded at the outdoor nature exposure location. Skin conductivity, restorativeness, and mood before and after exposure are measured.

Nature Videos and Colonoscopies (11-20-19)

Sjolander and colleagues examined the effects of showing people having colonoscopies nature videos during the procedure and found that the patients exposed to the nature videos experienced less stress.  As they describe “One of the four endoscopy rooms was rebuilt to include a large digital screen showing calm nature films. . . . The presence of calm nature films during colonoscopy decreased the release of cortisol, increased prolactin levels, and enhanced oxygen saturation.

Instrumental Music Can Reduce Stress (11-13-19)

Research indicates that listening to instrumental music can relieve cardiac stress.  A press release reporting research by Alves, Garner, do Amaral, Oliveira and Valenti states “Stress while driving is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac complications such as heart attack (myocardial infarction), according to studies published in recent years. . . .

Real and Virtual Nature Experiences (11-12-19)

Laurent and colleagues confirm the value of spending time in both “real” and “virtual” nature.  The team report that they  “conduct[ed] an experiment with healthy undergraduate students that tests the effects of six minutes of outdoor nature exposure with six minutes of exposure to a 360-degree VR [virtual reality] nature video, which is recorded at the outdoor nature exposure location. . . .

Nature and Mental Refreshment (11-08-19)

Crossan and Salmoni’s work confirms previous studies which have determined that nature experiences are mentally refreshing.  The research team reports that “Attention restoration theory (ART) predicts that top-down processing during everyday activities can cause attentional fatigue and that bottom-up processing that occurs when people experience nature will be restorative. This study exposed participants to three different conditions . . .

Prison Nature (10-03-19)

Moran determined that nature experiences, “real” or via images, have a restorative effect on people in prison, they seem to reduce their mental fatigue.  She reports “results of a survey of prisoners at a large medium-security prison for men in the United Kingdom. It reflects on prisoners' experiences in relation to elements of the environment in which they reside; specifically, outdoor green spaces and green views in the form of whole-wall photographic images of the natural environment.

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