Do you consciously exercise, or catch-up with friends outdoors? Whether you take a Seat & Eat; Walk & Talk; Pedal/Paddle & Prattle, or Amble & Ramble, getting outside changes your physical, emotional, and mental state. Why? Because so much of our modern lives are lived indoors, and inside our own heads.
Here are 7 Reasons why you should make time to get outside! : )
1. We constantly perceive our environment
Our senses and perception exist as an integrated body-mind system to inform us of what we are experiencing – to sense our environment, perceive our reality and adapt by adjusting our internal metabolism to match.
2. Changing environments sharpens our perceptions
As a human being, we are designed to function in harmony with our external environment. Variety in the relationship between our internal and external environments keeps our perception fine-tuned and adaptable. In the process of exerting ourselves (emotionally, mentally and physically), our metabolism responds. Our internal environment adjusts to suit our external requirements.
3. Getting outside puts perception into action
When we get outdoors, we expose our inner environment to a different, often changing external environment – all the way from our senses and autonomic systems, through our emotional and perceptual centres, to our conscious thoughts and understanding. We experience a rich(er) variety of sensations, perceptions, and interactions – a richer, more varied life!
4. Connecting with someone else adds extra layers of perception
When we get outdoors with others, we enrich ourselves even more. We activate metabolically to perform work, we respond to the physical characteristics of our environment, and we add a further layer of social interaction. We connect energetically with someone else, as we synchronise our physical activity (doing the same thing), our external physical environment (same place, same conditions), and our minds (by communicating, exchanging ideas).
5. Presence and Connection improve perception
Being present and connected in these ways, we are satisfying a primal trait of flocking with others – we feel safe in every sense, able to think, feel and observe (i.e. our own feelings and thoughts). We operate well above our “fight/flight/freeze” reactions, we are more mindful – we have clearer perception – physically, emotionally, and mentally – of ourselves, and everything around us.
6. Resonant, present connection enables exploration of past, present, and future
Over time in such shared company, we become increasingly comfortable and trusting, increasingly willing to each share our vulnerabilities, and explore our ideas and experiences more openly. In time, we may feel able to express challenging or uncomfortable things without getting upset – because we know we are safe, not emotionally associated or living-in the unpleasantness of what we are describing.
7. More than words – sharing our experiences, changes our feelings and understanding
Expressing more immediate concerns can be seen as de-stressing or easing our distress. Addressing more ingrained or sustained issues can be seen as expressing or releasing our ongoing mental and emotional dis-ease. This is more than wordplay; sharing things in this way almost always feels like a relief, because it takes more energy to hold onto these things than it does to let them go. [Just remember, sharing in this way is about sharpening our own perception, gaining perspective and self-understanding – it’s not about off-loading our problems for someone else to solve.]
Conclusion: Try to regularly get outside and connect with others
By getting outside with others, we develop a healthier understanding of ourselves. At the same time, we can become more empathetic, understanding more of someone else’s experience of past, present or future.
Make the opportunities to regularly get outside; Walk & Talk, Pedal/Paddle & Prattle, Amble & Ramble… The more we synchronise ourselves in the present, and “get on the same wavelength,” the more fully we can share and enjoy our human experience!