Equinox Archive

Benjamin Stock
Equinox Staff

With spring just around the corner, things are starting to look a little less bleak from the cold and grim nature of the winter months. During these harsh months of winter, it is hard to motivate ourselves to get outside and see what the world has to offer since it can be very uncomfortable finding something to do outside.

Frigid temperatures and snow limit us to what we can do like going out and exploring. Many people stay in their nice heated apartments distracting themselves with the television or something stimulating like an interesting video game or even checking our cell phones for the hundredth time for no apparent reason. With the weather getting a little warmer and sunnier, there are plenty of ways to be just as stimulated if not more, when considering being outdoors.

I believe that keeping yourself active outdoors can really benefit a person in many ways. It is in fact our natural habitat, where we feel the most at peace and at home. Even when you may believe that you much rather prefer to be indoors, I recommend to take a few hours out of your day and find yourself somewhere like a walking trail or even in your backyard and allow yourself to be in that moment. Feel the warmth of the sun, the touch of the wind and the gentle sounds that come to your ear and just observe to be mindful of where you are and clear to be mindful of where you are and clear your head with the openness of the outside world.

Much evidence has been researched in how being out in nature can significantly help your well-being. An abundant list has been studied to show how much it can help those suffering from mental and physical disorders. According to The American Society of Landscape and Architects, adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia,asthma & respiratory disorders, cognition, depression, general health conditions, heart health, hospital recovery, obesity, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Stress, Stroke, Type II Diabetes have all been able to be improved in there overall functions and handlings with simple practices of enjoying and exploring the natural world. According to SHARP Health News, being outdoors can improve your health and well-being in the following five ways:

“Lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress — Spending time walking among or simply looking at trees lowers blood pressure and reduces the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline.”

“Improves mood — Researchers have found that nature simply makes us happy. Anxiety, depression and anger are notably decreased after spending time outdoors”

“Improves focus — Studies show that both adults and children who have difficulties focusing or controlling impulses are better able to concentrate after being in nature. The natural world allows our brains to take a break from all that mentally drains us, and even reduces symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”

“Helps us heal quicker — Illness and surgery can be painful and frightening, which can increase stress and slow healing. However, researchers discovered that patients who spent time outdoors during their recovery required fewer painkillers, had fewer complications and experienced shorter hospital stays.”

“Supports graceful aging — According to a study in the Journal of Aging and Health, adults over 70 who spent time outdoors experienced fewer sleep difficulties, complained less about aches and pains, and enjoyed improved mobility and ability to perform daily activities.”

I believe that we are doing ourselves a great disservice by not forcing ourselves into the outdoors from time to time. It is significantly important to do so and can help our overall health and well-being. I also think it is necessary for us to understand our connection to the outdoors and see how much we are a part of it as it is a part of us. It heals us, gives us life, and most importantly gives us a sense of meaning. Seeing the natural flow of the world as it is with the stimulation of all your senses. The outdoors is a great teacher, far greater than anything we can fully comprehend. When you see the natural flow of water, try, and imagine that your body and mind work very much the same, always flowing without being consciously aware of it. A trust in its own intuition and finding its way to greater bodies of water just as we are finding our way to a greater sense of purpose.

 

Benjamin Stock can be contacted at:
bstock@kscequinox.com

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