As every Eden guest knows, the moment you drive through our gates your shoulders drop a little, you breathe easier and more slowly, and your to-do-list becomes forgotten. This isn’t just down to our welcoming staff and the thought of all those massages; what you feel, from the moment you arrive, is the healing powers of biophilia.
It may sound like something that belongs in your morning yoghurt, but the health benefits of biophilia – generated by the calming effects of nature, such as a rainforest or the ocean – are only now being recognised and encouraged. So what is it? Put simply, biophilia is our need to see nature from wherever we are. This, according to Edward Wilson, who introduced the hypothesis of biophilia into mainstream thinking, is an “urge to affiliate with other forms of life.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to view a sweeping vista (although let’s agree that Eden’s is one of the best,) even potted plants or a view of nature through a window is enough to lift the spirits and calm the soul.
The benefits of biophilia are now taken so seriously by mainstream medicine that hospitals are designed with nature in mind, to ensure that patients have a view of greenery from their bed. Studies have shown that patients with a window view of plants and flowers recover better, faster and reduce their length of stay in hospital.
You don’t have to wait to get to hospital to appreciate the benefits of the great outdoors. Numerous studies have found that one of the best ways to help you deal with stress, mental health issues and fatigue may be as simple as welcoming some greenery into your life. The benefits speak for themselves: reduced stress, improved attention and focus, restored mental alertness, increased longevity and a general improvement in health and wellbeing.[i]
With the worldwide health pandemic we are currently facing we’re spending more time than ever in our homes, and away from our usual favourite outdoor areas and places to visit. Thankfully, even just a few additions of greenery in your bedroom, home office or living room can make a big difference to your state of mind and overall health.
If you do have time on your hands and some available space, why not take this opportunity to create your personal biophilia oasis? Interact with your green area at least once a day – watering, weeding or just enjoying the rustle of the leaves and colours of the flowers can be enough to help you reap the benefits of biophilia.
Where to start
A kitchen garden can be a great way to plant some herbs which you can then use for cooking.
You don’t need anything fancy to begin – plant seeds in empty yoghurt containers and place near well-ventilated, sunny areas.
Don’t forget that you can use the seeds of some veg to grow an edible garden – keep your capsicum, tomato and avocado seeds and plant them in pots
If you do have a balcony or garden, consider growing seasonal plants – this way you’ll have an abundance of colour and greenery to enjoy all year round.
Place an indoor plant in your bedroom, office or living room to help cleanse the air and lift your spirits and improve your health. Place it within eyesight, so that your eyes can ‘rest’ on it whenever you feel stressed or in need of some calm.
If you feel the need to cast your mind further, we’ve collated some of our favourite views of Eden. In the meantime, we’re here, tending to our own gardens, waiting to welcome you to your favourite health retreat once more. Until then, stay safe, stay well, and stay green.