Biophillia and the human nature connection

In a sped up world dominated by screens and pressure and noise, it’s all too easy to forget or the impact of nature on our well-being.

As humans, we have, deep within us, an innate connection to the natural world. This concept is known as biophilia and has been something I have been exploring for some time. The term refers to the inherent human tendency to seek out connections with other forms of life and highlights the importance of nature in shaping our physical and emotional well-being.

Studies have shown that spending time in nature can remarkably improve our health. Just as the terpenes that we smell when walking through the woods can, and do, increase the production of ‘natural killer cells’, they can also help reduce blood pressure and stress hormone production and accelerate recovery from illness.

Incorporating biophilic elements into our daily lives doesn’t mean great changes or elaborate adaptations. Simple things, like bringing plants into our urban areas and our houses, designing our workspaces with proximity to natural light, opening windows where sunlight and birdsong can find it’s way to us, can make a world of difference. Consciously integrating nature into our surroundings can create an environment that nurtures this human–nature connection that has too long been suppressed.

Checking in with our senses, closing our eyes to truly listen to the birds, feeling the warm sunshine, hearing running water and opening our eyes to a landscape of green and natural tones all appeal to what is written in our DNA, that tells us when we are safe, and that abundance is near.

Biophilic design, an approach that brings elements of nature into architecture and interior design, is not only an aesthetic choice but can foster a sense of connection with the natural world, promoting physical and mental well-being. The aesthetics of nature is linked to our reasons for finding such elements ‘pleasing’ to the eye, the ear, etc.

If nature holds such power, then embracing biophilia alongside the complexities of modern life means honouring this connection and recognizing the profound impact that it can have on both our physical and emotional well-being.