When a friend mumbled about how stressed she felt I thought back to a stressful job I once held and how I delt with pent up emotions. As a top salesperson in a bustling business I carried a lot of responsibility, which led to a high amount of stress. Many people’s schedules and thus lively hoods depended on the work I did.
When things didn’t go according to schedule, my blood pressure would rise, and to say that happened often would be an understatement.
I often worked from 4:00 am until 6:00 am at home. I’d wake my little girl, get her dressed and we’d head to work. From about 7:00 am until 8:00 am we’d sit at my desk and work. My morning break consisted of a ten-minute drive to drop her off at school, and then it was back to my office. After school, the schedule reversed with me picking her up, taking her to my office, then home for dinner and playtime. When she went to bed I’d head to my home office and work until around 11:00 pm. — Stressed any? YES.
I held tension in my shoulders, neck and jaw. I learned that I needed exercise and began to squeeze in body-movement while I worked at home. I created a makeshift laptop harness attached to my elliptical. It helped, but can you guess what else I was missing? — The outdoors!
With a lack of free time in my day, I learned to step away from my desk for ten-minute intervals. I’d head outdoors, without my phone, and walk around the parking lot to kick rocks.
Yes, you read that right. I’d kick rocks. There are always pebbles in parking lots, and you’d be surprised at how a person can release their tension, just by being outside, in the fresh air and sunshine (or snow, or rain) kicking rocks. It’s amazing, but getting outside and disconnecting for those short periods really did help me to reset. Later I learned to put myself first and changed careers, but that’s not the focus of today’s chit-chat.
The outdoors is good for your health, and it’s not hard to get there. Simply step outside and enjoy the good world that the good Lord has given you.
7 Benefits of Being Outdoors
- Mentally Reset: Being outdoors resets your mind and redirects your attention. If your mind is clogged and you’re having difficulty dealing with a problem, get outside and regain your focus.
- Stimulate Your Body: It’s good to move while you’re outside. Walking is one of the best exercises that many people can do . Walking will help release muscle tension, ease joint pain, decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, strengthen the heart, and burn calories.
- Calms the Mind: Being outside reduces the level of activity in the prefrontal cortex of your brain, thus reducing negative thoughts and emotions.
- Increases Energy: When you’re exhausted and think you need that afternoon cup of coffee, a change of setting and walk outside will give your brain an energy boost.
- Enhance Creativity: If you’re strolling around, looking at different items, especially trees, flowers, and natural things, your brain will be greatly stimulated. This stimulation is shown to boost creativity and is key when we have brain-block or writers-block.
- Adds Nutrients: I mentioned vitamin D in yesterday’s post, and if you don’t like fishing, you can still get outside and soak up this inflammation reducing nutrient.
- Gives Life Value: Being outdoors will help you to focus on the value of relationships, community and other important aspects of life that are often neglected in modern day society.
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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, keynote speaker, and a range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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