Use 40 Seconds to Restore Your Focus

• Jun 19 2015

Next time you have your head to the desk to finish an assignment, consider taking the scenic route to refill your coffee mug.

A new study conducted at the University of Melbourne asked two separate groups to complete a sustained attention task. Halfway through, both groups viewed an image of a rooftop for 40 seconds. One group viewed a basic concrete roof, and the other viewed a green roof; it had a large garden filled with grass and flowers.

Once they returned to the task, the group that viewed the meadow scene had significantly improved cognitive processes. They were more attentive, accurate, and quicker to respond.

Not only does this study prove that nature has a positive effect on mental functioning, but it shows that you don’t need to find some untouched forest to take advantage of the research. By using a city-scape in their pictures, these researchers proved that nature, even in artificial form, has the capacity to improve your attention and performance.

So if you find yourself stalled in the middle of an essay or stuck on a single line in a book, try taking a step outside, or even looking at some images of nature on your phone. It can take less than a minute for you to restore your attention and get back to work.

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