The Benefits of Aquarium Therapy
Have you ever wondered why many doctors’ office waiting rooms display fish tanks? Well, turns out, fish tanks can have a calming and therapeutic effect for many individuals. Fish tanks can have a dramatic positive effect on mental and physical health. Research has shown that as little as 5 minutes contact with nature features, like an aquarium, can significantly decrease stress, reduce anger and fear, and increase pleasant feelings. Much like a day at the beach, or a walk in the woods, spending time around aquariums can have the same calming, effect. It’s almost as if the calmness of the tank provides a meditation like focus and serenity.
I have a fish tank at home with just one fish (Fishy). I can honestly attest to the calming effects of having our fish. Watch our fish grow over the last few years has been a pleasurable experience in it of itself. However, the calm sound of the water running through the filter and then back into the tank is enough to calm me.
Not to mention, watching the smooth, elegant, gliding motion of Fishy swimming. My family and I are really grown to love our fish. Who knew, this little pet was also offering such therapeutic effects?!
If you live near an aquarium, visiting it during off hours when it’s not too busy can be a great way to unwind. You might also think about getting an aquarium yourself!
In the mean time, here are two articles about the topic with beautiful images:
Parsons, R., & Hartig, T. (2000). Environmental Psychophysiology. In Handbook of Psychophysiology, 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. 815-846