33 THE GOOD LIFE PROJECT

Be­ing close to na­ture raises our spir­its. We all know that. But just how ben­e­fi­cial is it, and can it boost our mood at work, too? We meet the ex­perts work­ing on the answers

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Hotlist | Wellbeing -

It doesn’t take much more than a walk in the park or a week­end in the countryside to give us a pal­pa­ble in­sight into the con­nec­tion be­tween na­ture and well­be­ing. There are nu­mer­ous stud­ies from many a rep­utable sci­en­tific in­sti­tu­tion prov­ing the pos­i­tive ef­fects of fresh air and green fields. But how do any of these aca­demic stud­ies make our daily lives bet­ter? En­ter The Good Life Project, headed up by ex­pert be­haviourist Jez Rose, who, along with a team of psy­chol­o­gists and sci­en­tists, is re­search­ing what makes a health­ier, hap­pier work­ing en­vi­ron­ment. Af­ter all, most of us spend the ma­jor­ity of our days in the work­place. While we in­stinc­tively know that a win­dow­less, na­ture-free of­fice is not con­ducive to our finest work, let alone our state of mind, The Good Life Project is out to prove it. Through an on­go­ing series of blind tri­als with Good Life am­bas­sadors in work­places across the UK, it’s dis­cov­er­ing ex­actly which nat­u­ral stim­uli – from pot­ted plants to bee­hives and wildflower seeds – make us happy, and how much ex­po­sure we need. Want to get in­volved now? Book a visit to the project’s head­quar­ters, an or­ganic farm in Cam­bridgeshire, where the ex­perts lead im­mer­sive work­shops (£69 per per­son) that teach their find­ings – learn com­mu­ni­ca­tion and prob­lem-solv­ing skills while har­vest­ing honey from bees or press­ing ap­ples. Soon, The Good Life Project is head­ing into schools too, ap­ply­ing the same line of re­search among chil­dren. Only in its first year of ex­is­tence, this is a move­ment to watch (whois.the­be­haviour­ex­pert.com/goodlife).

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