For many of us living a life surrounded by bricks, asphalt and concrete is very familiar. But then we get out into the countryside, or sit in a park under a tree, and somehow it feels like we can breathe more easily, and our worries are not so weighty.
The term for this is ‘biophilia’ – love of living systems. For those who promote it, it represents an innate orientation we all possess for connecting with the vitality of life and with Nature. We are all intimately part of the life of the planet, through the foods that we eat, the air that we breathe, the water we drink. We have evolved over millennia along with all other life-forms on earth. Is it any wonder we would feel an innate bond with our natural environment and with other living creatures?
This month we encourage you to connect with Nature – go for a bush walk, sit in a park, buy an indoor plant. Say hello to your planet!
When was the last time you went for a walk in Nature? Make a date with yourself to take a stroll through your local park, go for bush-walk, walk along your favourite beach. Even if you don’t count yourself as creative, play with the possibility you might write a poem, draw a picture, talk to a friend about your experience.
Look around your workplace. Any plants in sight? Any pictures on the walls or on your desk? What is the picture on your screensaver? Bring plants and images of nature into your workplace, and so give a boost to your and your colleagues’ wellbeing.
The Four Ways Sound affects Us.
A short but remarkably informative and entertaining talk by Julian Treasure on the positive and negative effects of sounds on our lives. Did you know we are 33% less productive in relatively noisy open-plan office space when compared to working in a quiet room? And listening to bird-song is very beneficial. So put in your earplugs and switch on the bird-song…
The Happy Planet Index.
Statistician Nick Marks, from the UK New Economics Foundation, argues that to engage people in care of the environment we need to harness their sense of wellbeing. But how to place wellbeing at the centre of our discussions on the environment, and indeed to see it as an integral part of a country’s economy? He proposes the Happy Planet Index.
Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.
Something to grow your own biophilia. In this TEDtalk beautiful images of nature are combined with words that remind us to take time to look and enjoy Nature’s wonders.
The Biophilia Hypothesis.
A short exploration of this topic from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
A Conversation with E O Wilson.
An interview with Edward Wilson, who in 1984 was the first person to propose biophilia as an innate human trait.
Employee Wellbeing Through Biophilic Design.
An article from the Huffington Post on the importance of taking account of biophilia in office design.