When I was a child I, like many people with ADHD, found the indoors, and particularly being inside a classroom, suffocating. It was only when I was outdoors that I felt as though I could really take a deep breath.
Attention and mood are connected. Depression and anxiety have been shown in studies to make us more inattentive and also affect our ability to learn and our memory. Studies have shown that people with Inattentive ADHD are more likely to have mood disorders such as anxiety and depression and that treatments that improve mood, also improve inattention.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Human-Environment Research Lab, have been looking at the effect that nature and green spaces have on the symptoms of ADHD. What they have found is encouraging.
Andrea Taylor and Frances Kuo from the Human-Environment Research Lab have found that children experienced a reduction in ADHD symptoms after activities conducted in nature. These researchers have found that trees and greenspace make life better in some very important and measurable ways with regards to attention.
One interesting research study found that girls who had tree views from their windows at home had better abilities of concentration, less acts of impulsive behavior and were better able to delay gratification. The researchers were not able to explain why, interestingly, these benefits (of a tree window view) did not extend to the boys in the study.
People have a positive mood responses to nature. Studies have shown that people report feeling emotionally and physiologically better after spending time in the outdoors. Researchers have tried to figure out why this is so and one hypothesis of this phenomena has been proposed by a researcher by the name of Gordon Orians. Orians has speculated that some human responses are based on innate knowledge of productive human habitats. His hypothesis is called the “Savannah Hypothesis” and the basic idea is that humans innately know what environments are beneficial to their survival and objects or environments that represent those productive situations, such as a tree in full bloom, will bring about a positive brain response such as happiness.I had the Filet Mignon,orianaa and it was all I could do to share a piece with my husband, who almost didn’t get the Halibut dish because of the succatash. He does not like lima beans, but as they were very tiny he gave it a try and then ate it all.latelierscrapblog Good job Chef Louise! I think my friend ogdispensary ended up almost licking her Halibut plate clean, and the optisoftvision Braised Pork Shank brought her husband quickly back from the bar where he had made a new friend while checking the score of the game.innotechreviews The wine we ordered, while full bodied and fruit forward, did not over power any of our dishes.
The “Savannah Hypothesis” has actually been tested. Dr. Lohr of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University reported that studies performed to test this hypothesis found that because:
“Trees with spreading forms existed on the African savanna and were associated with habitats that were good for early human habitation…subjects feel happier when looking at these trees than when looking at other trees or non-tree objects. Color is another variable that might be associated with people’s responses to nature. Bright green colors could be an important cue for healthy plants with good nutrient qualities. We measured subjects’ physiological responses to tree canopies of various colors and found that all colors were calming, but bright green trees were more calming than other tree colors, including less bright greens and oranges. ”
It appears that forest and trees can make the inattention of ADHD better. It is no wonder that so many of us with ADHD-PI prefer the outdoors.
For more information on Primarily Inattentive ADHD please visit Tess Messer at http://www.primarilyinattentiveadd.com/2010/02/why-blog.html. There you will find information on ADHD symptoms, ADHD treatment, alternatives to medications, Information on ADHD vitamins and supplements and much more. Looking forward to meeting you there!