Get Out and Enjoy Nature. It’s The Antidote To Creative Blocks!
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir
In Oregon, we experience our share of inclement weather so it’s easy to get into the rut of staying indoors day after day. As a result, many Oregonians are Vitamin D deficient, which greatly alters the mood, mental health and immune system. So when summer finally comes, I tell everyone, “Get out and enjoy nature as much as possible. It’s one of the best ways to overcome creative blocks and get your creativity flowing again!
Remember the last time you visited the ocean and felt the cooling spray and heard the crashing waves and seagulls calling? Close your eyes and let that calm wash over you once again. Or if you love the mountains, remember the woodsy scent of the pine trees mingling with the dust on a warm summer afternoon as you hike up the trail past a burbling creek and chirping birds.
Can’t you feel your pulse slowing, your breath deepening and your muscles relaxing as you think about it? Don’t just think about it. It’s time to get out and enjoy nature and rejuvenate yourself! Here are five ways it can help stimulate your creativity…
1. Being in nature is very healing to us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Anger and stress ebb away, the blood pressure drops, muscles release their tension, the endocrine system slows down on the production of stress hormones. Finally, you have the space you need to think deeply and examine what changes you can make in your life to make it more fulfilling, to live more mindfully, to be more creative.
2. Another notable benefit from being in nature is that it offers pain relief. Our bodies were not designed to sit in front of the computer for hours on end. That’s why so many suffer from neck and back pain. When you’re out in nature, you don’t want to sit still. There’s always something new and interesting to explore. We become engrossed in the world around us. And we ease our pain as we exercise more.
3. Do you find yourself having an ever-decreasing attention span? The fast-paced world we live in is training our brains to scan, read in short spurts and jump from subject to subject as we multitask. Spending time in nature lets our overactive minds relax and relearn how to focus on one thing at a time. There’s even research that shows that spending time in nature increases the attention span of children with ADHD.
4. Nature is a great antidote to creative blocks. Go outside and mindfully observe your environment more closely. Work your way through each of your senses and really notice what you’re hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling and even tasting. Look around and see how many colors and textures are in front of you. This gives your brain a chance to refresh and recharge. I always do my best thinking when I’m walking or driving in the car! Being in nature always stimulates my creativity.
5. Spending time in nature with our friends and family helps us connect on a deeper level. Relaxing in nature opens up opportunities for real and deep conversations with people. These real conversations spark all sorts of new possibilities and creative solutions. Researchers have also used fMRI to examine the brain’s response to nature scenes. When we’re in nature, the parts of our brains associated with empathy and love are activated. How cool is that?
While bringing plants indoors is one minor solution, the best thing is to schedule time daily to get outdoors. Want to start living more mindfully with nature? Why not schedule a session of somatic coaching to calm your mind and reconnect with your body. Contact me and let’s see if we’re a good fit for working together.