I have always used nature to inspire my book writing. I always write in remote rural locations with lots of breaks for walks, runs, swimming, kayaking, biking or cross country skiing during the day. This summer I have learned that being in nature is actually more powerful than I realized. Florence Williams book The Nature Fix documents with hard data why being in nature makes people feel happier, healthier and more creative.
Florence cites data on the positive impact of natural versus man made sound, the impact of outdoor aromas, visual patters and stimulus.
A few of the many things in the book that caught my eye…
She writes, “Nature is restorative because it frees up the top-down part of your brain in a way that allows it to recover. I don’t think you have to be in nature for this to happen, but I think there’s something special about nature. It’s what makes it interesting. Nature has this not totally unique but more powerful ability to capture your attention in a different way.”
In 2008 - The World Health Organization report that for the first time more people throughout the world live in urban areas than rural ones.
Research finds that we are outside only 7% of the time. And despite that we are twice as happy when outside.
Aristotle, Darwin, Tesla, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Teddy Roosevelt and Walt Whitman were all famous thinkers who thought best outdoors
Researchers found that leisurely forest walks, compared to urban walks, deliver a 12 percent decrease in cortisol levels. But that wasn’t all; they recorded a 7 percent decrease in sympathetic nerve activity, a 1.4 percent decrease in blood pressure, and a 6 percent decrease in heart rate. On psychology questionnaires, they also report better moods and lowered anxiety.
So this summer - reset your brain and your mood by getting outside more. It can be as easy as:
- Having breakfast outside.
- Better yet - cooking breakfast outside with that old Coleman Stove you have in the garage
- Exercising outside instead of on a treadmill.
- Sitting outside at night around a fire pit instead of inside around a flat screen tv.
- Holding walking meetings - just get up, go out - walk and talk.
I’m off to go for a run along the woods, down to the water and along the seashore. Then to get dinner ready to cook on the beach tonight! Enjoy!