Quite simply, being active out in nature stimulates creativity and improves executive function. Hey, it really makes me think about how my environment makes a big difference. Getting outside guides you to discover what’s on the inside.
Creative ideas come while I’m either cycling or hiking without the distraction of technology. No Emails, ringing phones nor Facebook notifications which demand my attention. Yes, I carry my mobile, however many times I turn it off and let the earbuds gently dangling by my ear. Refreshed and recharged with new ideas for problem-solving by listening to the music of the waves, leaves, birds and harmony of nature.
Recently I read, “We’ve known for a long time that writers benefit from being active out in nature,” said Ruth Ann Atchley, chair of psychology at the University of Kansas. She explains that it’s a synergistic effect of not only engaging in physical activity, but doing it outside, away from modern technological distractions. “We’ve known for years that aerobic exercise is very beneficial for thinking and cognition,” she said.
“It enhances the function of the prefrontal cortex, which is important for creativity and moving attention from task to task. It helps us detect emotion in others and influences mood state.”
So, will walking the Stairmaster at the health club get the same result? Answer: no.
In every walk with nature I’ve gotten far more than I’ve expected.
Atchley explained, “It is beneficial to get away from the technology-rich environment. Reading email and checking your phone takes you off task and inhibits creativity for as long as five minutes each time.”
Atchley said the natural environmental stimuli is emotionally positive.
“The natural environment has the ability to seduce and attract your attention system rather than demand it. We have a good body of evidence that shows exercise is linked to having greater energy levels, better cognitive function, improved mood; all of these things lead to greater performance at work, and greater confidence as well.”
Who know you can get receive all these benefits by just hanging out with Mother Nature? Enjoy all of creation and get creative.
Get out there! Mother Nature is waiting to nurture your creativity.
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”
-Henry David Thoreau
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”
– John Lubbock