We belong outside
Nature Fix tells us that, for those who didn’t already know, Outside is good for you.
Yep, I said Nature Fix, not Netflix.
Outside magazine’s Florence Williams has published a book this month that explores why and how spending time in nature is one of the most therapeutic things we can do for ourselves.
Going much further into the topic that she explored in a 2012 article about the calming effects of taking a stroll in Japanese cypress forests, Nature Fix is a thorough investigation on the measurable beneficial qualities.
We do not come into this world, we come out of it – Alan Watts
It doesn’t take much to convince me that the natural world has an intrinsically beneficial effect on me.
After spending weeks at sea and months without a usable internet connection, the moment I logged on to the impressive 3G of the Bahamas was the moment all my anxieties came thundering back.
After weeks of only being concerned with the sea, the sky and the accompanying dolphins and seabirds, suddenly I was bombarded with information about politics, war, terrorism, the astounding success of people younger than me and the fact that not only was I not wearing this season’s lipstick, I didn’t own any lipstick.
Once online I couldn’t turn off. I was absorbed and was consumed by doubt. Should I be more successful? Should I too have got a ‘proper’ job? Do I need to be posting on Instagram more?
Why didn’t I make a video blog at the start of the voyage and by now raking in advertising fees? Should I be able to speak Spanish by now? Should I know how to use a powder brush?! Do I need to know how to use Snapchat? Should I know what Snapchat even is?!
Into the wild again
My only escape was the ocean. Once I left the Bahamas and embarked on another 28 days straight of Atlantic crossing and zero contact with the outside world, I was okay again.
More than that, I was alive again. I may have been being chased by Tropical Storm Bonnie and her counterpart, TS Colin, but that concern was different. It was tangible, solid, alive too. Once the storms came, if they did, I would deal with it.
The stress of our modern lives and the pressure that living up to the successes we see all around us online can add up severely.
Not only do I believe that spending significant amounts of time outside, deep in nature, can make us healthier and happier but I believe that not spending much time in nature at all, can make us ill.
We didn’t evolve inside on sofas staring at multiple screens.
You can listen to Florence Williams talking about Nature Fix on the podcast below and find out more about it on her publishers page at W. W. Norton.
Alternatively, you can go outside to a place where you can’t see many, if any, buildings. Listen to the birds, watch the trees move and touch the things that are real.
Do you find that being outside calms you down and de-stresses you? Do you struggle with motivating yourself to get outside, even though you know it’ll probably help?