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How Biophilia Can Be a Part of Your Wellness Routine

By Julie Ambachew November 27, 2022 Lifestyle

Tapping into our innate connection to nature, known as biophilia, is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally. The concept is also foundational to biophilic design, which brings in natural materials, patterns, plants, and other amenities to keep up our connection to nature while indoors.

This is especially important as we have less sunlight with shorter days and are outdoors less with colder temperatures during the winter months. Even if you live in a place that is warm year-round you can reap the benefits.

Here are a few easy ways to get started bringing biophilic design into your home.

Incorporate Light

Most things in nature thrive in slightly sunnier conditions, and so do humans. Incorporate natural light into your home by opening the blinds or placing your chair or desk near a well-lit area. This natural light will help increase your vitamin D dopamine levels, without having to leave your house.

If you live in an area prone to long stretches of rain and/or cloud covered conditions, you may consider the addition of a light box. It’s believed that this type of light therapy can create a chemical change in the brain that elevates your mood and alleviates symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), such as increased sleepiness and isolation.

Decorate with Natural Elements

While biophilia is more than just aesthetics, incorporating natural elements such as wood, plants, bamboo, cork, sustainable timber, stone, rattan, and more throughout your space helps put you in a positive state of mind.

As Americans spend nearly 90% of their time indoors, increasing natural elements in your everyday environment can have significant impacts on reducing stress and helping you feel calmer.

Become a Plant Owner

In March 2020, plant ownership went up nearly 18 percent, with nearly 2/3 households owning at least one houseplant. Indoor leafy green plants can help improve air quality as they increase the level of oxygen within the space.

The plant leaves also absorb excess carbon dioxide and help regulate the room’s humidity by circulating water through their roots. With plants acting as a natural air purifier, you are quite literally bringing fresh air indoors.

Embrace the Sounds of Nature

Biophilia goes beyond your green thumb and natural materials. Incorporate an indoor water fountain into your home if you are missing the relaxing sound of water during the colder months or consider a rain-style shower head, incorporating the feeling of summer rainfall. You can also open the doors or windows (throughout the day), to let the real sounds of nature in.

Fortunately, with a few natural additions to your home, you can embrace the outside, improve your mood and support your overall well-being.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How do you incorporate nature into your home? Do you plan to add a water feature to your home? How many plants do you have in your home? What is one natural element you plan to incorporate in your home this winter?

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Dana

I didn’t realize I was biophilic, so thank you for introducing that term into my vocabulary! :-) I really believe in the connection to nature and currently have a house full of house plants. I (very fortunate for me) live in a very rural area and the amount of flora and fauna is abundant. I also have many handmade plant stands and pieces of furniture that my husband, a woodworker, has made. I love my space! And I know when other people come in, they say how cozy and welcoming the house is, and I think that is due to the natural feel of the home. I know for me, I need the feel of nature inside! I really enjoyed this article.

Bethany

I earned advanced Master Gardener & Master Naturalist status in two states. Right now I have 25 indoor plants, not counting my 4 Aerogardens full of fresh herbs and salad greens. After my husband retired he began watering my gardens and was amazed at how quickly over heated plants responded to cool water…that began his adventure into gardening as well. We have a bay window by the headboard of the bed and the bay window is filled with plants which are famous for their “air cleaning” qualities. We sleep much better than we did before we had indoor plants.

Patricia

I love plants but find when I start buying ngmany they all become sort of messy
Now I have a few in various stages of health
My favorite is a plant that begins with letter z

Bethany

If the plants are all in the same color pots and on various height stands, they look less messy. Also, the ZZ Plant now comes in black as well as green!

The Author

As Director of Clinical Services at Aegis Living, Julie oversees the clinical care of 2,500 senior living residents and a team of health services directors across 34 communities. Julie is a registered nurse, known for building strong clinical and care teams who help older adults live their lives to the fullest.

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