How Nature Virtual Skylight Imagery Improves Your Mental Health
Nature, whether it is gazing out an actual window or sitting under a virtual skylight, can improve mental health
Nature has a tremendous impact on our mental health. The natural world directly influences the positive changes in the brain and nervous system. Even a short period spent in nature, doing something you enjoy, can significantly reduce anxiety, tension, and sadness, as well as increase overall well-being.
Part of the reason that the outdoors helps mental health is that it removes us from our interior environment. According to studies, most Americans spend much of their time indoors. Furthermore, most of the time spent indoors is now spent on technological devices. Excessive indoor and screen time can severely impact our overall physical and mental health. The following are some of the advantages of spending time in nature:
- Boost your mood
- Increase sentiments of happiness and well-being in general.
- Bring a feeling of equilibrium to our lives
- As we experience a connection to the natural life force, we will feel a sense of awe, wonder, and connection to something bigger.
- Improve our ability to focus and pay attention.
- Encourage empathy.
- Reduce your chances of developing psychological problems.
- Reduced anxiety/stress
- Reduce your worry and fear.
- Deactivate the fight-or-flight response by calming the neurological system.
Is being indoors bad for mental health?
Americans spend over 90% of their day on average indoors, most of which is spent on technological devices. The average daily time spent on these devices is roughly 10 hours. Excessive indoor and screen time can negatively affect both physical and mental health. Spending too much time indoors, primarily on tech devices, can lead to negative experiences such as depression and isolation. With actual outdoor time in nature decreasing for most people, mental health prescriptions are on the rise. Unfortunately, psychiatric medications are not always the right choice for people, but doctors prescribe them against their better judgment due to a lack of alternatives. Almost 93% of physicians surveyed in the U.K. confirmed this.
Urban environments and your mental health
By 2050, over 70% of the world will live within urban environments, while current numbers idle at 50%. Urban areas are tied to an increased risk of mental illness for reasons unknown. People who live in cities have an increased risk of mood disorders, anxiety, and depression than those in rural areas. Also, those growing up in cities are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia compared to those raised in rural areas.
Nature can reduce the hostile impact cities have on our mental health. For example, a case study in California had half the participants walk for an hour on a nature trail and had the other half walk down a busy street. Nature walkers experienced numerous benefits that the city strollers did not. Those fortunate enough to nature walk experienced reduced anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improved memory on assigned tasks. Adding nature in cities, especially buildings, positively impacts our mental health.
What if you can’t get outside, what can you do?
Even if we want to go outside, it cannot be done for numerous reasons (work, location, etc.). Fear not, for even images of nature can trigger the body’s relaxation responses. Researchers conducted different studies comparing actual nature experiences to just simply viewing nature on television. They found that both experiencing and viewing nature creates positive emotions, improves attention span, and increases overall well-being.
Artificial Sky is a holistic mental health prescription
Using state-of-the-art technology that captures nature in its truest form from color, hue, saturation, and lighting perspectives, we can mimic sunlight and the view of nature without question artificially indoors in a windowless environment.
Our LED Skylights and Virtual Skylight systems (static and moving) help to maximize your experience in nature by fully immersing the room occupants mentally and physically in views of nature. Artificial Sky helps room occupants practice mindfulness and overall well-being by experiencing a life-like skylight view with over 100,000 sky viewing options available. No matter your time frame, room type, structural challenges, location, or budget, Artificial Sky has a skylight perfect for your space. Some common sectors for Artificial Sky specified by architects and lighting designers include healthcare, senior living, assisted living, hospitality, workplace, education, and retail-mixed use. Please consider using Artificial Sky in all of your windowless environments not only for your employees’ overall well-being but for a more productive organization. For more information on LED skylights and virtual skylights, please visit www.ArtificialSky.com.
Artificial Sky image gallery for LED skylights and Virtual Skylights can be seen below by clicking on the image.