Anytime is a great time to be outside and enjoy nature. Walking in a forest, on the beach or in a park can drastically change your mood and improve your body, mind and spirit.
Walking in nature promotes creativity.
In a Stanford University study, the researchers examined the impact of walking and creative thinking. They looked at those who walked both inside on a treadmill as well as those who walked outside. They found:
Walking outside produced the most novel and highest quality analogies. The effects of outdoor stimulation and walking were separable. Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.
Spending time in nature has a calming effect.
Going for a hike, fishing in a stream or walking on the beach helps reduce stress and increase focus. David Strayer, a psychologist at the University of Utah, has studied the benefits of spending time in nature. According to the article, This Is Your Brain On Nature, he’s found that:
When we slow down, stop the busywork, and take in beautiful natural surroundings, not only do we feel restored, but our mental performance improves too.
Nature gives you the opportunity to practice mindfulness. Being in the moment and focusing on the here and now, allows you to pay attention to the sights and sounds that surround you. As you become more in tune with the outside, you feel more relaxed and your stress level diminishes.
Nature improves your mood.
Getting some fresh air helps you feel better and happier. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can cause depression, fatigue and anxiety over the long winter months. Going outside and spending time in the sun can help curb the winter blues.
Take a walk, go for a run, or try a winter sport, like skating, skiing, or snow boarding. Getting some physical activity while you soak up the healing benefits of the sun’s rays will help boost your mood.
Get OUT outside now!
When it comes to nature, Henry David Thoreau tells us to see and experience nature as a canvas to your imagination and soul.
So dress appropriately for your activity, wear a hat, put on the sunscreen, open the door and get outside. Just being there will have a calming effect. If you want to follow Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice: Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
Once you do, it will do wonders to help you recharge, reinvigorate and become your most authentic self.