Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nature is good for you

Psyblog has just posted some research that shows that a walk in the country is good for your short-term memory. What I find interesting is the finding that looking at pictures of nature has a similar effect. So as a public service here is today's short-term memory booster, just for you:

It was taken at Pyrford Lock. The very best picture I have of that area is on my desktop but it has a picture of my Beloved* in it, so I wasn't sure that I wanted to post it up here for all to see.

When I first started working in a school, about eight years ago, I had a cupboard of a room for an office but with a glorious view of a huge tree in the school grounds. I regularly stopped work just to gaze out of the window at the tree and draw sustenance from it. When I moved to a much larger, pleasanter room I missed the tree. I wonder if indoor plants have the same effect.

*Yes, "my Beloved" is the same as "my Husband" just in case anyone was wondering.


Bevie said...

Beautiful picture. Green grass. Trees. Sumak (that's what it looks like). It looks like a nice place during my favorite time of the year.

I had not heard about the walk, but it makes sense. It seems to me I recall reading/hearing research which said employees with windows fared better than those without.

If staring at an aquarium is emotionally healthy (I have read that it is), and having a cat or dog sit at your side/on your lap is, too, then I should expect having an indoor plant is good, too.

I remember working in an office back in the 80s. There was a philodendron (sp?) near my desk. I'm not a plant person, per se, but I found myself taking care of it with a feeling of satisfaction.

See. Your memory service worked.

Thanks, FH.

Whirlochre said...

This looks fantastic. I have the luxury of living 10 mins from a trio of great spinneys, and when spring comes, I shall be out with my camera.

If I forget — do please remind me...

fairyhedgehog said...

BBJD After a bit of googling, I don't think that is sumac (which I'd never heard of before). I think it's bracken, which we have a lot of round here.

Glad the post brought up a good memory.

Whirl You're so lucky. I used to live a few minutes walk from Nonsuch Park and I do miss it.

We have Ashstead Common very near us now, and the duck pond at the edge of the Common is great, but the Common itself is so heavily wooded that you can't see for any distance and I don't enjoy that very much. I like my nature tamed.

I'd love to see photos of the landscape near you.

Stacy said...

Ah, what a lovely pic! It's like something out of LOTR.

Sylvia said...

I haven't been walking in weeks - no wonder I'm in disarray. I wonder if a cactus on my desk will help.

JaneyV said...

Well I walk in the country pretty much every day. Even if it's not having any effect on my memory I find that it's a great de-stresser. I expect that it's far easier to remember things when your mind isn't all clogged up by the nonsense of the day. It certainly does have a decluttering effect.

I have read somewhere that plants are very good for removing negativity. In a similar way to how they take CO2 and give us oxygen (please note that this is an analogy - not science) they take in negativity. The bloke who I heard talking about it said that plants recycle what we don't use or expel. He recommended that if you meditate for 20 minutes a day you should do so near a plant and direct your negative energy away from you and into the plant. Apparently they thrive on it. He also suggested for a quick fix if your feeling edgy to walk around on some grass in your bare feet. Personally, I won't be doing that again till May but I have done it and it actually does work.

Beautiful pic FH.

Oh and Whirl I'm looking forward to going on your walk in Spring.

PJD said...

Gorgeous photo. But now I've forgotten what it was I was doing before I popped by. I'm not so sure of that short term memory benefit.

Ms Scarlet said...

Just being outside in the country makes me feel better. And I'm very lucky because where I live is a tad rural.
I've been lazy lately because of the cold weather, and I've missed my walks and my short term memory has evaporated.

Bevie said...

"I've forgotten what it was I was doing before I popped by.

pjd: Perhaps you're disleptic? Try forgetting what you were doing before visiting. [teasing smile]

fairyhedgehog said...

freddie I'd love to go to New Zealand where they filmed that. Too far for me, though.

sylvia I laughed at the cactus.

Jane Glad you like the picture. I'll leave the bare feet for warmer weather too.

Scarletblue Your memory too?

pjd and BBJD(Laughs)

Robin B. said...

Gorgeous view, FH!

Love the fern-cover you guys have.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, Robin. We are very lucky to live here.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Wow. I just remembered somthing, but then I came to the comments and forgotten it again. Off to look at your nature picture for another memory boost.

Beautiful picture, by the way.

fairyhedgehog said...

Hehehe, Sarah. :)

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