EmotionalSkills: The Great Outdoors

Long before the perpetual bombardment of emails, social media, stressful jobs and consumer pressures we lived in the great outdoors. Residing amidst trees, water, the sky and the weather… innately embraced by nature.

It can be claimed that life was much easier back then. Sure, we lived shorter lives and infant mortality was pretty scary, but psychologically there was simplicity. Rules were virtually non-existent. We didn’t need to work and there were no choices or decisions regarding lifestyle because everyone had exactly the same – which was not much.

Contemporary life can be crammed full of worries; choices, injustices, confusions, congestion and anxieties, and many of us struggle to breath under that sort of heaviness. Those searching for an antidote may be pleasantly surprised to discover the rejuvenating qualities of getting amongst our historical alfresco habitat.

It kind of makes sense if you think about it. Humankind walked (getting our exercise fix and boosting our serotonin and endorphin levels) through grassland and trees gathering food for millions of years. Just 12,000 years ago the agricultural revolution gave us physically hard, dawn to dusk jobs, but at least we were under the sky. The industrial revolution took us out of the countryside and put us into factories. Most of us have stopped working in the fresh air.

So, does being in nature allow more free ‘head space’ for you to be closer to the true you, more peaceful? – more in the moment? – ?less worried or happier? Many medical professionals and psychologists indicate that human beings have an inborn desire to be part of nature calling this phenomenon ‘Biophilia’.

For some, modern life can sometimes seem like a bit of a struggle. Being amongst the flora and fauna renews the mind and soul.

The evidence is too compelling to ignore, take time to get out there and go for a walk or a run or just sit in the great outdoors.

Deanna Joyce is a degree qualified psychotherapist based in Northampton. If you’re struggling with emotional issues, call 07986 488690, email info@emotionalskills.uk. Visit www.emotionalskills.uk