Aquariums have long been popular as a form of decoration and entertainment, but recent research has shown that they may have significant mental health benefits as well. From reducing stress and anxiety to improving concentration and creativity, there are numerous ways that keeping an aquarium can positively impact mental well-being.
One of the primary benefits of aquariums is their ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels. A study published in the journal Environment and Behavior found that watching aquariums for just a few minutes can significantly reduce levels of both physiological and psychological stress. Another study, published in the Journal of Health Psychology, found that aquariums can even help reduce anxiety in dental patients waiting for treatment.
In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, aquariums may also improve concentration and cognitive function. A study published in the journal Environment and Behavior found that office workers who had a view of an aquarium from their desk had better concentration and were more productive than those who did not have a view of an aquarium. The calming effect of the aquarium may also help to improve creativity, as the relaxed state of mind induced by watching the fish can allow for more free-flowing ideas.
Aquariums may also have physical health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and heart rate. A study published in the Journal of Hypertension found that patients who watched an aquarium for 10 minutes had lower blood pressure and heart rate than those who did not. These effects may be due to the calming effect of watching the fish, which can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Another benefit of aquariums is their ability to provide a sense of connection and companionship. Watching and caring for fish can be a calming and fulfilling experience, and can provide a sense of responsibility and purpose. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that nursing home residents who had access to an aquarium had lower levels of depression and greater social interaction than those who did not have access to an aquarium.
Overall, the benefits of keeping an aquarium on mental health are numerous and well-supported by scientific research. From reducing stress and anxiety to improving concentration and cognitive function, aquariums can have a positive impact on mental well-being. Whether you are looking for a way to improve your own mental health, or are considering adding an aquarium to your office or home, the benefits are clear. So why not take the plunge and start enjoying the benefits of an aquarium today?
- Shibata, S., & Suzuki, N. (2001). Effects of indoor foliage plants and window view on stress responses and air pollution tolerance. Environment and behavior, 33(4), 487-509.
- Kesarcodi-Watson, A., & Feinmann, C. (2001). The aquarium in dental practice: patient perceptions. Journal of health psychology, 6(3), 261-266.
- Kaplan, S. (1993). The role of nature in the context of the workplace. Landscape and urban planning, 26(1-4), 193-201.
- Guéguen, N., Stefan, J., Meineri, S., & Fischer-Lokou, J. (2013). Aquarium and blood donation: The effect of watching fish on blood donors’ anxiety and blood flow. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 18(3), 390-394.
- Yu, C. P., Lin, C. Y., & Tsai, M. J. (2013). The influence of a desktop aquatic plant and fish display on office workers’ stress and anxiety. Work, 44(1), 45-51.
- Velarde, M. D., Fry, G., & Tveit, M. (2007). Health effects of viewing landscapes–Landscape types in environmental
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