"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home." -- Gary Snyder
One of the main ways in which I know how to get back to being -- to feel connected and happy -- is to be outside in nature. If you know me at all by now, you also know that getting outside is one of my favorite means of practicing exquisite self-care. If you've been waiting for a little motivation to get out the door, here are seven great reasons to get outside NOW!
1. Reset Priorities
Quiet moments of wonder and awe are a strong reminder that the purpose of life is not work. We work to support the kind of life we want to live, not the other way around. Simply being outside can refresh and intensify your sense of adventure. Remember all those places you want to see, the experiences you want to have, and the loved ones with whom you want to share it all? That is why you work.
2. Feel Alive
Just 20 minutes outside majorly boosts vitality levels and zest for life, according to research. People report better physical, mental, and emotional health after spending time outside!
3. Reduce Stress
Being outside instigates a shift towards positive feelings. There is nothing like a peaceful walk in nature to refresh the mind and rejuvenate the soul. Spend time outside every day, and experience the de-cluttering of your overwhelmed mind!
4. Regain Your Focus
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." -- Lao Tzu
Connecting to nature is a reminder to slow down, regroup, and take a break from rushing around. Let the fresh air wake you up, sharpen your senses, and increase your ability to focus when you return to tackling responsibilities.
Pure nature forces you to spend time without multiple distractions and constant interruptions. You can use solitude in nature to quiet your mind and sort through your thoughts, but it is also a precious opportunity to spend intimate time with a companion and talk about life. Oh, the warm fuzzy feeling of watching the sunset and lying under the twinkling night sky!
6. Increase Exercise
Going outside not only gets you moving, but it also makes exercise feel easier; being outside feels much less like a chore than dragging yourself to the gym! If the thought of the treadmill makes you cringe today, just walk out your door -- rain or shine, sun or snow -- and enjoy the boost in energy and feeling of relaxation that ensues.
7. Essential Vitamin D Boost
It's common knowledge that pure sunlight can boost feelings of happiness and combat depression, but did you know that it can lower your blood pressure? According to WebMD, Vitamin D is a common prescription for high blood pressure, but low levels of this essential vitamin can also increase your risk of type 1 diabetes, muscle and bone pain, and even serious diseases such as cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, esophagus, ovaries, and lymphatic system. Get outside and reap the health benefits of Vitamin D + exercise + fresh air!
Which of these reasons resonated with you? And what will you take on this week in service of making that shift from insight to action? Share in the comments below!