Colleen Duffley

How organic tones and textures are like a reset button for your soul

By Stephanie Hunt

"Nature captures your attention in a way that is not urgent or oppressive. In other words, you don't have to pay attention to the wind in the trees, but you do, and it's restorative," says author Adam Alter.

Why We Need Nature

"A theory known as Attention Restoration Theory says that when we expose ourselves to natural environments, even small doses of nature, we are healthier and happier," says Alter. This is because unlike the overwhelming external world around us that "zaps us of energy and attention," he explains, nature is replenishing. Studies show that we perform better on cognitive tasks after we take a walk in a natural environment rather than an urban one.

Related: How to Decorate a Neutral Bedroom:

How To Use Them

"Being in the presence of nature buffers the negative consequences of stress," Alter says, and this holds true even when nature is brought indoors through natural colors and textures, plants, and nature-inspired artwork.

Related: 20 Ways to Decorate with Neutral Colors

Adam Alter has a Ph.D in psychology and is the author of Drunk Tank Pink, which explores how factors in our environment shape our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.