• Lisa Behan

Positive Distraction



My first trip to Enoggera Reservoir with kids and kayak in tow. After setting up the picnic and urging the kids into the water, I was able to sit on the bank taking in the view. Seeing all the trees busily producing oxygen, made me breathe deeply in appreciation. Waterlily pads dotted the shoreline creating pleasant patterns of green and yellow circles, which I simplified in my sketch book. When the kids got hungry I took the kayak out for a longer paddle towards the dam wall. It's a wonderful feeling to sit on the water, focusing on balance and propulsion. Peaceful, yet purposeful. I understand how fortunate we are to have ready access to places of natural beauty.

In my research into the positive distraction that images of nature can provide, I found this reference in an article by M McCuskey Shepley "Dr Ulrich cites access to nature as a primary means of


distraction. Ulrich studied moderately stressed individuals, and found that more positive feelings resulted when these individuals were exposed to nature scenes than when they were exposed to urban scenes."

So if we can't have direct access to nature we can find solace in looking at images of nature. This is why I'm so interested in establishing this enterprise in medical waiting rooms where anticipatory anxiety can be high and positive distraction low.


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