Why Looking at Birds Make You Feel Better?

To unwind after a stressful day at work, some will go for a drink and others go for a run. What’s your go-to method to unwind? A recent study has revealed a most unexpected way to rest and restore our overworked minds. Andrea Mechelli, a psychologist at King’s College London, was searching for answers to why people who live in cities seem to be more prone to mental illness, particularly psychosis.

He began to study 1,292 participants, mainly in the United Kingdom and Europe, some of whom disclosed a professional mental health diagnosis such as depression. Three times a day, they were prompted by a phone app to answer these questions: Can you see or hear birds? Are you feeling happy or feeling down? With the data he collected, Mechelli performed a statistical analysis and found a discernible improvement in wellbeing when birds were present.

Scientists have two main theories for why nature may be a soothing balm for our overworked minds. We as human beings like nature because that’s where we’re meant to be. The second theory is called attention restoration theory. Similar to the first, it theorises that the constant strain of daily life – stressful commutes and constant Zoom calls – requires intense focus. Nature allows us to disengage that focus and engage in a sort of open-eyed meditation as we watch a bird flying from branch to branch. 

By Parcsen Loke, Family Life Coach, Centre for Fathering

Food for Thought: Fathers and Mothers need a place to find peace and quiet or just to relax and unwind. Where is that place for you?