The Stress-Reducing Power of Nature
I confess - I'm a bit of a career chameleon. I routinely change my work "colors" in order to explore different career options. But, my combined background in both science and the arts (which may at first glance seem unusual) helps me to recognize the importance of appreciating the beauty in nature.
Many scientific studies show the power of spending time immersed in nature.
Human physiology improves - and importantly, stress is reduced - when we take time to appreciate nature's beauty. This effect is so powerful, that even a simple task like looking at images of nature helps to reduce stress. In 2015, a study performed in the Netherlands found that having students look at pictures of nature helped to reduce their stress during a test. The data suggest that short durations of viewing images of nature (like trees and other green plants) can help people recover from moderate levels of stress.
I find it interesting to note that fractals (a mathematical term used for infinitely complex patterns) have a particular calming effect on the body. Fractals are everywhere in nature, from ferns to seashells. Studies indicate that looking at fractals increases alpha brain waves, and also increases blood flow to areas of the brain that regulate emotions.
That might explain my fascination - and addiction - to this illustration by Ernst Haeckel.
These are desmids; spectacularly symmetrical green algae, beautifully captured in this illustration.
Desmids are the actual freshwater algae from which plants emerged. Darn, that is meaningful. But in addition to the science being fascinating, I find this image to have particular visual appeal.
Now I know why; my nervous system is telling me it is a wonderful thing to look at, because my body relaxes.
Coupled with some indoor plants, it might even be relaxation central.
Viewing natural environments can also increase the body’s ability to heal. The Atlantic published an article profiling a hospital in Pennsylvania that had several rooms facing a courtyard with greenery, and several others facing a brick wall. Hospital administrators found that the patients in rooms that were facing the courtyard were recovering faster from procedures than those viewing the wall. There is also evidence to suggest this phenomenon extends to looking at indoor plants, or prints and art depicting nature on the walls.
When I started Fischer Arts, and began prepare and add work to the website, I felt my mind quieting. Time flew by as I worked with the art and and images for the site.
...The pieces from Alchemistic Jewelry, with beautiful natural elements
that immediately bring the mind to the beauty of the earth.
...The antique and vintage engravings that bring a touch of nature home.
....The photographs, capturing nature's color, light, and symmetry
A little bit of joy for the eyes, and relaxation for the body.
Remember: Now through April, Fischer Arts will be donating profits from
the sales of our antique nature prints to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facilities.
Thank you for being on this journey with us!