Is Greenery the Real Green Flag?

Is Greenery the Real Green Flag?


A recent study highlights the impact of greenery on mental well-being. However, the peace from being in nature has been felt by almost everyone subjectively. Empirical evidence is now available to quantitatively measure its benefits.

What was the research about?

For this research, eye-tracking glasses were utilised to measure what the participants view. They had a forty-five-minute walk with a guide in the greenery area of town and campus. With 10 designated stops in the procedure, participants were asked to see the greenery part.

Read More: Study Reveals That Biodiversity Is Crucial to Nature’s Mental Health Benefits

Technique enforced

The aim was to have the most precise and objective way of visual engagement. That is, seeing the world from the eyes of all the participants. This study by Braun Rizowy and Assaf Shwark was published in the journal ‘People and Nature’. These 117 participants were divided into three groups based on random selection. First focusing on the greenery segment (trees), second on grey (for man-made elements) and third being mixed.

Before and after the survey, standardised measures like the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to measure the real impact of greenery. The outcomes showcased a magnificent change in the mood of participants. Along with the rejuvenation and state of refreshment, the level of anxiety got attention with the maximum transition. People focusing on green elements were found to be much less anxious than those with focus on grey and mixed elements.

Read More: Eco therapy: The Transformative Power of nature in mental well-being

Is going in nature feasible?

This study has signified that to achieve better mental well-being from mother nature, you don’t always have to go somewhere with completely lush green tourist areas. This might be a temporary let-out, but not for the long-term effect, especially when most of us have a hustling lifestyle.

Urban living and its impact

With the enhancement in urban living structure, the pace of life has increased tremendously. With better efficiency and purchasing power comes a lot of stress; highly increasing the chances of acquiring mental illnesses further. Since getting inside an area with greenery is difficult, the researchers have highlighted that the green elements within the city can be a lot helpful. Keeping an idea in mind to focus more on seeing green areas from the window of cars, buses, metro anything can even go miles. Such is the pragmatic interpretation that can be possible for each one of us.

Urban planning

With emerging research on establishing a junction between nature and mental health, a foundation is laid to improvise the planned urban architecture that has included greenery in its structure. For an urban lifestyle, it is more of a need than an option. Suppose a green belt is incorporated into an urban structure. In that case, chances of lifestyle improvement is much better since people don’t have to put extra effort into focusing on greenery beyond their already hectic lifestyle.

Read More: The Friend-And-Foe Nature of Technology in Regard to Mental Health

How is this useful for a mental health professional?

Many traditional therapeutic interventions have already incorporated an alignment with nature to find peace with mental health. However, this practice has severely declined with urban lifestyle and city structure; a minor shift towards this can be a new area of therapeutic support. Psychotherapists can focus on guiding clients with the efficient strategies to focus more on greenery aspects of mental health.

Moreover, greenery can be utilised as a cost-effective measure for having a healthy mental well-being. This can be applicable in the long-term habitual integration for enhanced mental health.

References +
  • Lee MS, Lee J, Park BJ, Miyazaki Y. Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. J Physiol Anthropol. 2015 Apr 28;34(1):21. doi: 10.1186/s40101-015-0060-8. PMID: 25928639; PMCID: PMC4419447.
  • Barton J, Rogerson M. The importance of greenspace for mental health. BJPsych Int. 2017 Nov 1;14(4):79-81. doi: 10.1192/s2056474000002051. PMID: 29093955; PMCID: PMC5663018.

Leave feedback about this

  • Rating