So many of us spend upwards of 10 hours indoors every day… We sleep inside our warm and cosy homes, we get into climate-controlled cars and drive to work. Then we spend all day inside an office breathing in filtered air, only to go home at the end of a long day to watch TV, eat our dinner, drift off to sleep and repeat again the very next day.
It’s not unusual to go days, if not weeks (and for some… MONTHS) having spent no more than an hour a day outside in the fresh air. This can have a damaging effect on us as we miss out on the many healing benefits the great outdoors and what nature has to offer us.
I am quite lucky, as I live in the middle of the bush surrounded by trees and when I’m not out and about cleaning houses in Perth or teaching yoga, I am outside in the bush with my laptop doing officework, sending emails and making calls. This was a choice I made as nature is so important to me but even when I was working in an office for 8 hours a day, I made sure I went outside as often as I could. Though you don’t need to make like me and move away from the city and into the bush, it is really important to get outside as often as possible wherever you are and here are the reasons why:
1. It’s really cleansing:
The clean, fresh air has an instant cleansing effect as each new breath in signals renewal and each breath out eliminates toxins and aids in letting go. Breath is so vital to our health (and our life!) and we forget this as we often breathe short breaths into our chest which keeps us in panic and stress mode. And to add to it, we are often breathing in recycled ‘dead’ air in our homes, offices and cars. Go outside now and take several really deep breaths in the clean, crisp air. Breathe in deeply, right into your abdomen and then breathe out and let go of all stress and tension. Repeat several times and notice how energised yet calm you feel now.
2. It nourishes the body:
According to David Wolfe, the earth is covered with negatively charged electrons that pour into our body the minute we are connected to the earth. When we are disconnected from that natural negative charge from the earth we are subject to oxidation and we develop inflammation. When was the last time you connected with the earth? Find a patch of grass, take your shoes off and connect with mother earth.
- You take in new scenery:
The ever-changing seasons bring about something new to see and experience such as leaves falling delicately from the trees in Autumn, birds flitting about in the warm Summer sun, bees buzzing around flowers blooming in Spring and frost glistening on the grass on a cool Winter’s morning. Take note of the changes in the seasons and show gratitude for the amazing show mother nature puts on for us every day.
4. It’s free entertainment:
The best thing about the great outdoors is that there’s always something free and fun to do in nature. Go for a peaceful bushwalk, swim in the ocean, climb a hill and take in the view from the top. Then smile knowing you never even had to get your purse out for the day.
5. It’s a great teacher:
Observe nature for a moment… notice how it never rushes or pushes. A seedling takes time to evolve into a full grown plant. Spending time in this environment can bring a sense of peace to our life when we use this as a model for how we go forward in our days – make like nature and relax, allow and go with the flow. Make an effort to get outside more often and take note of your surroundings. If you are watching a river flow with ease and it seems peaceful and effortless, then incorporate this back into your own life (ie: go with the flow).
6. Boosts your Vitamin D levels:
By spending time outdoors and immersed in nature, you can safely expose yourself to the life-giving sun to boost your levels of essential Vitamin D (be careful of course and use a natural sunscreen where possible). Get out in the sun today… go for a walk and expose some of your skin (not in a creepy flasher kind of way though – that won’t be very appreciated, ha) or visit the beach and spend a little bit of time safely soaking up the rays.
7. Unplug, relax and put a smile on your dial:
I don’t think there’s ever been a moment when I’ve been outside immersed in nature and I haven’t been smiling like a crazy person. I love, love, love everything about it but in particular I love that it allows me to switch off, unplug from life and gives me time and space to relax and rejuvenate – which we ALL need. Leave your phone behind and head on outside. Just go for a wander around the neighbourhood, head down to the beach or a local park. Allow yourself to JUST BE with nature and appreciate the moment you are in. Don’t forget to smile.