“To see a World in a Grain of Sand/ And a Heaven in a Wild Flower” — those lines in the 18th-century English poet William Blake are widely quoted, since they remind us that the tiniest of things in nature may hold boundless elegance and beauty.
Or choose yet another poem, by renowned Romantic poet William Wordsworth, at which he makes a similar purpose in describing the joy that a field of daffodils quivering in the breeze makes him feel: “my heart with pleasure fills,/ And dances with the daffodils,” he writes.
As per a recent analysis, artists such as Blake and Wordsworth were certainly on to something.
Lead writer Holli-Anne Passmore, a Ph.D. student in psychology at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Okanagan Campus at Kelowna, Canada, found that taking only a couple of minutes every day to see exactly how things in nature make you believe will leave you happier and boost your total well-being.
The study’s results were recently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
‘The favorable impact that one tree could have’
Dr. Passmore recruited 395 UBC undergraduate students who were subsequently randomly split in to three classes. 1 group was asked to take photographs of organic scenes or objects that caught their attention — like a gorgeous sunset spied in the kitchen window, or even a late-blooming blossom — and also jot down the feelings which these evoked in them.
The next team was asked to perform exactly the same, but focusing on manmade items, like buildings, or machinery, although the next team acted as the controller, and wasn’t required to take some actions.
For those jobs at hand, the participants weren’t asked to go out of the way; some scenes or items detected while they were taking their ordinary, daily tasks, would perform.
“This was not about spending hours outside or going for long walks in the wilderness. This is all about the tree in a bus stop in the midst of a town and the favorable effect that one tree could have on humans.”
The research was allegedly “overwhelmed” by the passionate response from her participants, who filed over 2,500 photographs and composed opinions.
Passmore discovered that the participants who’d participated in the character observation activity reported elevated levels of pleasure and total well-being. They were also more receptive to social networking, as well as sharing resources with their own peers.
“The gap in participants’ well-being — their joy, sense of altitude, and their degree of connectedness to other individuals, not merely nature — has been significantly greater than participants in the team discovering how human-built objects created them feel and also the management team,” she notes.
Past studies have found that people who reside in regions with much more green spaces gain from enhanced psychological health, and may even live longer on average.
The UBC researcher is building on those and related findings, to comprehend how proximity to character can enrich our own lives. She’s a part of this so-called Happy Team in UBC Okanagan: a group of investigators committed to “research[ing] what’s appropriate with you (e.g., joy) and the way we encourage it.”