Nature

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Immersive VR nature experiences with mindful audio can boost productivity and creativity

Watching videos of nature while listening to mindful audio can deliver positive mood-related benefits and increase productivity at work, research has shown.

According to a study by Your Virtual Mind Trainer and Aston Business School, part of Aston University, the combination can also help improve mood and energy, and boost creativity and innovation processes.

Although many people understand that mind training and mindfulness can focus the mind and help to create a more rational, capable and innovative self, this practice can often be dismissed as too time-consuming or inconvenient - especially in a work setting - where there is often also a somewhat half-hearted reaction to the discussion of mindfulness and meditation.

Research has shown that in just six minutes, the combination can have a significant effect on psychological energy and can drive task performance hours after being used.

Key highlights of the Your Virtual Mind Trainer research study with Aston University include:

• Virtual mind training can deliver an immediate boost to energy and mood

• Watching a video has a positive effect on task performance

• The benefits of the short break activity can last for as long as four to six hours

• Watching nature on virtual reality headsets has a significant positive effect on creativity and this continues throughout the day

Dr Wladislaw Rivkin, associate professor in organisational behaviour at Trinity Business School (and former lecturer at Aston Business School), comments: “Results from a field experiment across 15 days demonstrate that a six-minute immersive VR or video experience benefits employees’ energy levels and increases their mood. These psychological benefits carry over and help employees to maintain a high effectiveness and be creative throughout the day.”

Dr Ashleigh McLellan, co-founder and director of YVMT, adds: “It can be hard to find balance in a fast-paced world. At work and at home we can often have feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression that create emotions that are hard to manage. While many people understand the benefits of taking time out to develop skills in mindfulness or to reflect and think about the person they want to be, it can be difficult to find the time to commit to this.”

“Our research shows that in just six-minutes, video and audio combinations can help people get something beneficial in just a short time.”

The study coincides with the launch of Your Virtual Mind Trainer, which offers six-minute 360° immersive nature videos that can be watched on any device – including Virtual Reality (VR) headsets – synchronised with audio recordings covering topics, such as confidence, observe the mind, reconnect to the body, patience and acceptance.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Claire Woffenden .

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