The benefits of biophilic living

I am going to start this blog by asking you a question and that is, where do you feel happiest?

Most of us would say whilst on holiday, out in nature normally when we are relaxing. Either by the coast or in the countryside. A romantic walk under the stars or dipping your toes into the sand. That connection with nature is the heart of biophilia.

Biophilic Healing. Bringing nature into your homehas been proven to reduce cortisol levels, which is stress. When we have had a busy day and come home to a tidy house and are surrounded by natural things it’s calming. This can be the cotton blankets, the silk cushions. We can look onto our favourite art work and just take a big breath and relax.

Biophilic living also enhances creativity and focus, improve healing and recovery. There is so much research into the practice of introducing nature into hospitals.

Records on recovery after cholecystectomy of patients in a suburban Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined to determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a natural setting might have restorative influences. Twenty-three surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses’ notes, and took fewer potent analgesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with windows facing a brick building wall.

View through a window may influence recovery from surgery by R S Ulrich. Science. 1984.

Calming art works, photographs of nature are all biophilic and can also help create a calm atmosphere at home and work. I feel like we are often drawn to nature in everything we do. When choosing art for tour home just consider where you want to put it and what effect you want it to have on you.

You should always pick what speaks to you when it comes to art. Never be influenced by what you want in your walls because you are the one who has to look at them. Also I beg you not to fill your home with cheap prints that you deem replaceable. Invest in your art, seek out artists, buy second hand but don’t just buy for the aesthetic. I think that it should be personal and thoughtful. I am not a fan of faux plants or those fake green panel’s you see in shops and cafes although I understand why they have them, I just don’t like encouraging more plastic into your home.

The meditative affect of nature’s shadows and patterns is something I never thought about before. I have always loved shadows and early or evening light. The other morning, it was at daybreak, the sitting room was filled with such a bright light that I thought the lights were on. This reddish gold glow danced around the room. I almost wish I had my phone on me but at the same time I am glad I didn’t capture the moment.

It’s not often I wake up super early and just stare at the light. It was captivating and meditative.

Biophilic design is about creating a balance in life with the chaos of our lives and technology with the calming restorative nature of the outdoors. Creating a refuge is key to this. I don’t mean your whole home should be a refuge although that would be lovely. But creating a small womb like sage space is really important. Wether is throwing an extra blanket on your side of sofa, egg chairs, love seats.

I started this blog asking you where you felt happiest, and biophilic living isn’t some hippie movement with strict rules you have to adhere to. It’s just about bringing the outside in. Appreciating nature and it’s calming effect, using it to help us relax inspire and motivate us. It’s about creating small calming vignettes in your home that make you feel good. Learning more about biophilia is really eye opening, I am discovering why I am so attracted to what I am attracted too. It’s always been the same, natural materials, original features, second hand furniture. I think it’s fair to say that we all want to create a little harmony in our lives and homes and that is biophilia.

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