We Know that Nature Eases Anxiety, But How Can Nature Keep Us Calm at the Office?


For many of us in the workforce, we spend an inordinate amount of time inside, working in front of computers and holed up in meeting rooms. As a result of this, work in modern settings has been linked to many stress-related illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. It is estimated that workplace stress costs businesses around $190 billion in healthcare costs every year.

When trying to address these issues, much focus has been placed on management practices versus the physical environment of the work place. Research has shown that including natural elements in a work environment can continuously promote better health—with very little extra effort or time.

We know that being in nature—or even viewing scenes of nature—reduces stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature also contributes to your physical wellbeing by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones. So how do we get nature into the work environment to reap the benefits that it provides?

Imagination or Imagery

Use your imagination and try to visualize a situation in nature that you find calming. It could be from a hike through the woods or a sunset on the beach. If you need a little assistance, try keeping some photographs of nature scenery at your desk. Carve out time during the day to perform this visualization to help reduce anxiety.

Bring Nature In

If your workplace allows, try bringing in a plant for your workspace. Studies have shown that interacting with plants can reduce psychological stress, increase attention, promote relaxation and reduce mental fatigue. If a plant is not doable, find a window that you can view nature from. Take some time to watch what is occurring. Whether it’s squirrels scampering around or the leaves blowing in the breeze. Just being able to see nature has been shown to increase both self-esteem and mood.

Get Outdoors

If you find yourself needing more than what can be provided indoors, then get outside! Nothing can replace the healing effects of nature quite like nature itself. All you need is 10-20 minutes during the day to take a walk and expose yourself to a green space. Find a park or other natural setting and pay attention to your surroundings. This will help boost your energy levels and reinvigorate a fatigued brain.

Nature is a wonderful way to help ease workplace stress and anxiety. Sometimes, however, severe cases of depression or anxiety require more aggressive intervention. If you are finding yourself in this situation, reach out to your healthcare provider to seek treatment. They may recommend treatment options such as antidepressant medications or ketamine infusions—in conjunction with the intervention of nature, of course, to help you overcome your illness.

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