skip to content
My Green Pod Logo
My Green Pod proudly presents
Nature TV
this Rock Might Just Save the World
Get Back To Nature
2 Hours of Rock
2 hours of brook
2 hours of sheep
share the good vibes

Do you know someone who could benefit from the good vibes of nature? Maybe you have a friend who is struggling with being stuck inside, or you just want to put a smile on someone’s face and lift their day. Taking the time to share and show you care will go a long way, so go on: hit those buttons and send some nature to a friend!

Why Nature?
Illustration of person meditating on globe

Nature is good for us – yet for many, lockdown has put some serious limits on our access to the outdoors.

Now you can have Nature with you wherever you are – on your living room TV, your laptop, your smartphone – thanks to My Green Pod’s Nature TV!

Scientific evidence supports the fact that experiencing nature – even on a monitor screen – can do wonders for wellbeing. Please see our interview with Dr Matthew Adams below. 

There’s also evidence that people are currently turning to the internet to shop and make themselves feel better, which (at least in part) explains the exponential rise we’ve seen in online shopping.

At My Green Pod, we’d love you to stop for a minute before you next shop online. Ask yourself two questions:

1. Do I really need it?
2. Is this an ethical product and if not, is there an ethical alternative?

Better still, before you make that next purchase – or if you’re just feeling the call of the wild – watch some Nature TV.

Love, Katie and Jarvis

the science bit
Portrait Photograph of Matthew Adams

So how exactly does nature affect us – and can it really bring the same benefits when delivered through a screen?

My Green Pod’s Katie Hill caught up with Matthew Adams, Principal Lecturer in Psychology at University of Brighton, to find out.

Portrait Photograph of Katie HillKatie Hill:
Matthew, welcome to My Green Pod! Thanks for joining us. First of all, what are the top three benefits of experiencing nature?
Portrait Photograph of Matthew Adams Cropped into squareMatthew Adams:
What nature does for us will of course depend to some extent on the individual, their circumstances, the type of nature they experience and how often. That said, a number benefits appear again and again in psychological studies. Based on this evidence, and my own experience working with people in nature, I would go for these three:
1) Reducing stress and anxiety – whether measured physiologically (blood pressure) or psychologically, little doubt that time in nature is an antidote to stress and improves mood.
2) Being present or mindful – nature helps us feel grounded and in the moment, bringing us back to our bodies and our senses.
3) Providing a sense of belonging. This is harder to describe but people often report how time spent in nature helps them feel positively connected to something larger than themselves but which they are nonetheless a part of.
Portrait Photograph of Katie HillKH:
Why is it so important to experience nature at the moment?
Portrait Photograph of Matthew Adams Cropped into squareMA:
The pandemic is affecting people in lots of different ways, but with lockdowns and other restrictions, its easy to feel anxious and stressed about what is happening. Being isolated, cut-off from the wider world, doesn’t help, making us feel trapped psychologically as well as physically. We understandably end up relying more and more on technology and screens to communicate with and experience the outside world.
If we think about some of those benefits of experiencing nature, it’s not surprising that it can help alleviate some of those negative experiences, especially if we can get out regularly.
Portrait Photograph of Katie HillKH:
How can you get the benefits of nature during lockdown?
Portrait Photograph of Matthew Adams Cropped into squareMA:
Ideally, get outside every day! I’m aware that having the time to access nature is easier for some people than others, and access to nature is increasingly being recognised as an equalities issue. If you can, get out for a walk at some point, perhaps make it a routine. Nature in an urban setting is fine, any reasonably green space will help, but I’d seek out those edgelands where nature is vying for space – however tiny. Regular visits will most likely deepen your attachment.
But research has established that we seem to have an innate preference for views of nature compared to built environments, and this applies to images as well as real views. What’s more, just viewing nature can have positive physiological and psychological effects – taking time to stop and stare at tree branches dancing in the breeze, or birds hopping around on a fence; even indoor plants appear to improve wellbeing when compared to how people experience spaces without them.
Portrait Photograph of Katie HillKH:
Is experiencing nature on a screen still beneficial?
Portrait Photograph of Matthew Adams Cropped into squareMA:
Yes! Studies suggest that a healthy ‘dose’ of nature can come in many forms. Representations of nature can have benefits like reducing stress and increasing pleasant feelings, whether its pictures of nature in people’s offices, artworks, even screensavers.
This might be because natural environments, even views of them, hold our attention in a different way to what we normally confront in working environments, phone or computer screens, TV shows. They encourage a response that has been labelled ‘soft fascination’. That is, they are capable of holding our attention, but at the same time we enter a relaxed mode of being, in which comprehensions and connections between thoughts or situations can fizz and whir, but in a relaxed reflective way. So, using screens creatively to connect us with nature could be a great way of smuggling in the benefits of experiencing natural environments.
Portrait Photograph of Katie HillKH:
For optimum wellbeing, how long should people spend immersed in nature?
Portrait Photograph of Matthew Adams Cropped into squareMA:
There’s been a fair bit of research on the optimum ‘dose’ of nature. I’ve already mentioned that this will depend to some extent on the individual, their circumstances, and the kinds of natural environment they have access too. But generally speaking, studies have noticed that after as little as 15 minutes of an activity like walking in the woods, significant physiological and psychological benefits can be observed.
Portrait Photograph of Katie HillKH:
Great stuff – thanks Matthew!

So there you have it! Access to nature can come in many forms – even a houseplant can trigger ‘soft fascination’ – and if you can’t get out, you can get an effective ‘dose’ of wellbeing through a screen.