One of the primary goals that many people have is to be happier. Many people believe that if they achieve specific goals, such as getting a promotion or having a defined amount of money in their bank account, that they will finally be happier. However, when you set future goals for happiness, you prevent yourself from being happy today. You hinge your ability to be happy on what may be, although there are no guarantees that you may reach those goals. Therefore, you may live your life constantly trying to attain happiness without ever allowing yourself to actually enjoy being happy today. You may not realize it, but one of the top ways to increase your level of happiness in the present is to head outdoors regularly. In fact, you can enjoy numerous benefits by doing so.
The Health Benefits of Being Outdoors
Human beings were not designed to spend all of their time indoors. Venturing outdoors for an extended period of time each day can help you to feel more energized and relaxed.
When you breathe in fresh air and absorb the brilliance of the sun’s rays, you can decrease feelings of depression and anxiety, and you may be more active throughout the rest of the day. These can all help you to sleep better at night, which can do wonders for your physical health and wellness. You can head outdoors on your own each day, or you can sign up for wilderness therapy to enjoy more structured activities outdoors.
The Opportunity to De-Stress
Stress can have a detrimental effect on your life. It can cause you to feel anxious and unhappy, and it can even affect your physical health and well-being. Finding a way to de-stress regularly is important, and one of the top ways to accomplish this goal is to head outdoors.
When you are active outdoors, your exercise can reduce your stress level and help you to better cope with future stressors that you may face. Even when you simply relax on a chair outside, you may feel some of your stress melting away as you breathe in fresh air and listen to the sounds of nature all around you. High stress levels can directly impede your ability to be happy right now, and the solution may be as simple as stepping outdoors.
The Ability to Live in the Present
Many people dwell on things that happen in the past or worry about what may happen in the future. Both of these can make you anxious and unhappy. However, when you immerse yourself in nature and remove yourself from regular surroundings, such as your workplace or home, you may be able to regroup and refocus.
This is a time when you may feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin, notice the subtly sweet aroma of nature and hear the sounds of insects and animals. By paying attention to your senses in the moment, you can lose some of the stress and unhappiness that you may have been feeling. You stop thinking about what has happened or what may happen, and you simply enjoy yourself. The concerns of the day melt away. After a short period of time outdoors, you may feel happier, and you can carry this with you throughout the day.
If you are like many other people, you may rush back and forth between your home and workplace in the shelter of your vehicle. This can make you feel as though your are spinning your wheels, and stress levels and discontentment can rise. You may spend very little time outdoors regardless of how nice the weather is. However, you can see that a key element to your present happiness lies in spending at least a short period of quality time outdoors regularly. This may be active time when you are exercising or quiet time enjoying the solitude and serenity of nature. Regardless of how you spend your time outdoors, you can enjoy each of these incredible benefits.
- D.L. Three years into my quest to find a copy of Dolores LaChapelle’s , I was finally on the cusp of unearthing the elusive tome. My search had led me to Powell’s Books, in Portland, Oregon, and as I closed in on my quarry, I felt the weight of a multi-year journey begin to lift. Out of print since 1993, was — and is — hard to find, and over the years the volume has gained legendary status as one of the best philosophical/academic examinations of powder skiing ever written. Today,
Kit DesLauriers' career is an extraordinary medley of firsts: The first person to ski the Seven Summits; first female to win back-to-back Freeride World Tour championships; first female solo of the Grand Teton; first ski descent of Mt. Isto (the tallest peak in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) … the list goes on. She has one of the most impressive ski mountaineering resumes of anyone on the planet, male or female, although DesLauriers humbly describes her life as "doing what I love
2,000 feet above the Yosemite Valley floor with her hands jammed into a undercling, the last thing Lynn Hill needed was to lose her footing. It was 1993 and she was in the middle of the Great Roof, a taxing 5.13c pitch of El Capitan’s Nose featuring a granite slab that juts out from the wall. To succeed at this technical section, she had to navigate a nearly featureless rock using only a thin crack in the granite for a hold. Hill now clung to that crack–measuring about a quarter-inch wide–as