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Restore Mental Energy by Connecting to the Environment


My Mind Feels Like Mush

I’m sure you’ve experienced the feelings of your concentration and clear cut focus can disappear. Or even after a few cups of extra coffee to ‘re-boot’, the feelings of mental fatigue cause you to be spaced out, disconnected, or even unproductive.


Those feelings of Mental Fatigue can be combated as simply as exposing yourself to restorative environments, mostly the Great Outdoors. No access to nature in the middle of your day? No problem! A study from the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that mental energy rejuvenated from even seeing and connecting with an image of nature (while pictures of cities and suburbs lacked the same effect).


The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that exposure to a restorative environment facilitated recovery from mental fatigue. After being fatigued through sustained attention tests, the subjects were grouped and then exposed to 3 types of images for viewing; restorative environments, nonrestorative environments, or geometric patterns. After the viewing, they performed the same attention test again. Only those who viewed the restorative environment (the great outdoors, nature) actually improved their performance on the second attention test.

“The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology15, 169–182] attention restoration theory, and support the idea that restorative environments help maintain and restore the capacity to direct attention.” (source)

Natural beauty can bring out feelings of awe, which is a surefire way to refresh your mind and get a cognitive boost! Did you get your daily dose of nature today?



(Image 1: Cat Rocks – Pawling, NY)

(Image 2: Bulls Bridge – Kent, CT)

(Image 3: Gem Lake – Estes Park, CO)

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