Biophilia, the key to happiness?

Aug 18, 2021
I'm pretty sure you're wondering what I'm talking about right now.
Now maybe you can guess, this is something that has to do with what is alive? That's right.
Biophilia is a word that comes from the Greek root "bio" which means "life" and from the suffix "phile" which means "who loves". Let's find out more about this concept ...

A little history

This concept is relatively new. It was first presented in the 1960s by the American psychoanalyst Erich Form and it was not until a little later, in 1984, that Edward O. Wilson, an American biologist developed the idea in a book famous title Biophilia.
However, this principle has always existed. It is universal and has been around for centuries and centuries. Humans have evolved in the natural world, their knowledge of it has enabled them to survive and adapt.
Since 1984, numerous studies have demonstrated the inseparable link between humans and nature. A contact which is essential to maintain good mental health and which exerts a positive influence on the physical plane.

Vue sous un grand arbre. Les rayons du soleil qui transpercent les feuilles de l'hêtre

Benefits of nature 

Reduced stress and anxiety

Whether it is during a walk in the forest or a walk near a peaceful lake, have you noticed how good you feel? Maybe you feel very relaxed when you take the time to feel the breeze of the wind on your cheeks when going outside or take the time to breathe the salty air near the river or the sea?

Plage, lac et et voilier, Lac Saint-Jean, Québec, Canada

Exposure to nature helps reduce stress levels. Historically, our body's response to a threat has helped us survive. This stress was necessary for our survival in nature and it was occasional. As we know today, it is prolonged stress that is damaging to the human body.

In 2004, the University of California carried out a study in which it collected data and samples from 39 women living with high levels of stress caused by their children's illnesses. Then, this data was compared to other women with a similar profile, but who had healthy children and low stress levels. Thanks to the samples taken, we drew the conclusion that stress had favored cellular aging by altering the telomeres * of the cells. The latter, the telomeres, are believed to promote cell renewal and when they are weakened. Results? A degenerative effect on these cells.

I share a little slice of life with you.

I myself am the mother of a 2 year old casserole who has had 2 heart operations in her short life and will soon have a third one, I see the effect of prolonged stress. However, I am surrounded by nature at home (inside and out), with the forest next to our house, and I see the positive effect on me. Nature and art are for me ways of experiencing the situation more serenely.

I continue ... In our children, there is a great deal of research showing that contact with nature helps prevent health problems such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, hyperactivity, attention difficulties, stress-related disorders and behavioral disorders. If you're curious, the Quebec essay "Perdus sans la nature" by François Cardinal paints a striking portrait of this social evil. It is obvious, the children for a few years play much less outside. They have less access to the alleys, fields and small forest of our childhood. In addition, many of them feel the pressure of everyday life, of performance and they have less free time because of the overloaded schedules. However, free time allows you to develop your creativity, get to know yourself better and discover others. On a positive note, luckily it is not too late to reverse this trend and bring children closer to nature. 

If you prefer, know that it is possible to listen to the conference “Playing outside, facing the deficit of nature” by François Cardinal.

 Groupe d'enfants marchant vers la plage

Whether it is for our children or for us as adults, it is important to get outdoors as often as possible and at other times, to bring nature inside your home.

Promotes well-being, mood and positive emotions

Since nature has been around since the dawn of time, it can act as an anchor for us. Its sight alone promotes serenity, calm and relaxation.

It helps to regain a level of vitality and better health. Some patients respond better to treatment and their healing process is facilitated thanks to contact with nature (arrangement of the room with additions of plants, flowers, large window, exit to the outside, etc.).

Recently with the pandemic, we have seen even more concretely the importance of having access to nature. This contact is essential for our happiness and our balance. Whether it's going for a simple walk, doing more physical activity outdoors, and more. 

Étang à grenouilles. Ramenons l'enfant dehors, dans la nature

Stimulates inspiration, creativity and cognitive skills

Edward O. Wilson presented it in his book Biophilia. Humans We are fundamentally drawn to nature and the elements that compose it (eg trees, flowers, animals, light and bodies of water). 

When we are indoors, a view of nature, windows that let in light help us regain energy and good humor. Otherwise after awhile in a closed environment, we are uncomfortable and feel tired, a general sense of exhaustion.

Fenêtre et vue sur la forêt

Recently in 2015, a international study to demonstrate the benefits of nature on the morale of employees of various organizations. We learned that people who worked in an environment that enhanced their space with natural elements had seen their productivity increase by 6%, their productivity by 16% and their creativity by 15%.

Good reasons to seek contact with nature or to integrate natural elements into our environment.

I present you solutions in a future article to integrate nature into your home.


Tell me, have you ever seen the beneficial effect of nature on your mood? What element or which has the most impact on your well-being?

* Telomeres are a piece of DNA located at the end of each chromosome.

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