I just read a book covering the benefits of nature and how it helps improve human health among many other claims. I’m sure many of you would question or speculate on the validity of these claims and I did too. One thing I did read that interested me, taking a walk in nature, away from the noises and sights of the city along with the absence of digital screens, improves creativity.
Now I definitely took this book with a grain of salt. I was thinking to myself a good book, movie, youtube video, article, gallery or camera can spark creativity. Why do I need to drive for a few hours through traffic just to experience the great outdoors for this creative pill, so to speak? Knowing me if I read something that intrigues me, I go 0 to 100% to see if it has any substance. I started walking to waterfalls on the weekend and started to go the scenic route to work, and you know what? Something did happen that the book claimed, ideas started to come at me like moths to a flame.
I normally carry around a pen and notebook just in case I get an idea or need to take down some important information. Normally I would maybe go through a notebook once or twice a year. But in the past few months of me walking to work through the local parks and going outside in the weekends, I’ve filled three notebooks during that time. Now I’m not saying my ideas are great or revolutionary, but the amount of ideas I’ve had has doubled in this short span of time. Surely this can’t be coursed from spending more time and surrounding myself with something as simple as nature?
The book I read was The Nature Fix by Florence Williams. It’s a book about scientific studies and research on how nature affects the human brain and our well being. Now I say this again, take this book and its research with a grain of salt as there is nothing mentioned about these studies being successful replicated or widely accepted. But through my own personal experiments on myself, I think there is some substance to them that needs to be considered. The benefits I’ve found have been, more ideas, less stress, less anxiety, relaxation, I’ve become more aware of myself the present and how I approach an issue in my life. I have more clarity over possible actions and responses I could take. I feel like walking in nature has the same benefits as meditation or enlightenment. Broad claims I know but this is just my personal experience from increasing the time I spend engrossed in nature.
So the next time you have a creative block or get overwhelmed with anxiety or stress. Perhaps your waiting for some idea to arise or looking for the drive to take that next photo or write that article. Get some time away from the hustle and bustle and go walk in a park or drive to your nearest waterfall or trail/hike. This nature thing, it might just surprise you.
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