Just looking at pictures of nature – or eating lunch under a tree – can ease mental fatigue and can improve your mood and focus. And here’s the scientific proof:
In a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers used brand-new, lightweight brainwave scanners that could be easily carried in a backpack – and sent volunteers to walk through a shopping district, a park, and busy city streets.
The result: The noisy cityscapes increased activity in the areas of the brain connected to frustration and stress. While the natural surroundings made brains quieter, much calmer, and more relaxed.
The researchers believe it’s because being surrounded by nature gives our brains a break. It allows us to think our own thoughts, instead of forcing us to think about our surroundings – like whether we’re going to walk into traffic, or reading bus-bench ads.
So, if you’re having a tough time staying focused, take a break and walk down a tree-lined street. Find a window with a view of trees or water or take 10 minutes to Google images of waterfalls, or beaches. It may look like you’re goofing off. But the experts say it’ll help restore your focus, and make you a more productive worker.