Why You Should Take Your Stress Outside

Dare Greatly | Go outside

If you’ve been following me online anywhere (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, my website), it can’t have escaped your notice that the outdoors are an important part of what I do.

After all, the first thing I like to do when clients start to work with me is bring them into the mountains for 4 days. There they can completely disconnect from their over-stressed lives and digital devices, fully immerse themselves in gorgeous natural surroundings and literally get a different perspective on their lives. It’s on these, what I call, Dare Greatly Experiences that we kick start a process in which they discover what they can do to reduce stress and reconnect not just with the way they want to live, but also with themselves.

Do I have to bring people into the mountains with me? Could I not just start working with people without that part of it? I could, but there are some profound benefits to going into nature.

Stress reduction

As researchers from the Universities of Chicago and Michigan have stated: “Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost.”(1)

Research has found that just being in nature causes our cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone) levels to go down compared to when we are in the city. The same is true for our heart rates. When we add physical movement like walking to the mix these levels go down even further.

Since my clients have often lived in an over-stressed state for a long time, they really benefit from being in an environment that naturally contributes to reducing their stress level.

Increases focus

It will come as no surprise that when stress is reduced your ability to focus increases. And focus is really useful when you want to figure out what it is you want to, need to or can change in your life in order to live a less stressed life that is more or completely in alignment with how you actually want to live.

Reduces fatigue

You know how you sometimes can no longer think clearly and your brain seems covered in a fog? That’s ‘mental fatigue’. Long before science proved there is a really easy way available to all of us, naturalist authors like John Muir, Henry D. Thoreau and others already knew the best way to battle this feeling was to go out for a walk in nature. It’s what many of us do instinctively too. It really is common sense: nature helps us restore our brains.

Improves memory

If you’ve ever experienced brain fog, you know how hard it is to remember things when you’re in that foggy state. Especially things you said or that happened a short while ago. When I find myself in a brain fog, I’ve been known to start telling something only to find halfway through that for the life of me I can’t remember what I’m trying to say.

Spending time in nature clears that fog of the brain and at the same time improves your memory, especially your short-term memory.

Increases creativity

It turns out that the more time we spend in nature the greater the boost to our mental health. Spending 4 nights in nature has been proven to increase your creativity, especially creative problem-solving skills up to 50%. How useful is that(!) when you want to figure out what you can, want or need to change in order to lead your life as you want to instead of in a constantly over-stressed state?

Increases physical health

And of course, there are many proven, physical benefits to spending time in nature too. Especially when that time is spent moving your body.

  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased lung functionality
  • Decreased cancer risk
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Increased muscle strength and balance
  • Increased bone strength
  • Better quality sleep

To name but a few.

So ….

If you’re living in an almost constant state of stress …. If you want to reduce some of your stress …. If you don’t want to or can’t join me on a Dare Greatly Experience in the Austrian Alps, at the very least find a bit of nature near you and immerse yourself in that. Your garden, the neighbourhood park, the countryside for example.

It will do you and your stress levels a world of good, I promise you!

As always ….

Go dare greatly