Well-Being//

How Going Outside Can Lower Stress and Boost Creativity

Just do it.

mimagephotography
mimagephotography

Whether you’re consumed by stress or in need of a creativity boost, one of the most effective ways to get out of your own head is through a change of scenery (it’s a popular saying for good reason!). Spending time outdoors, in particular, can have an incredible impact on the body and mind: A 2019 study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that spending as little as 20 minutes outdoors in nature can significantly lower your stress hormone levels.

Plus, you don’t have to jet off to some exotic locale to take a rejuvenating break from your everyday, indoor environment. “No matter where you are, you can open up your senses and take in your surroundings, bringing awareness to the sense of touch, smell, sound, and sight in a gentle and non-judgmental way,” Nina Smiley, Ph.D., a psychologist and director of mindfulness programming at Mohonk Mountain House, tells Thrive.

For example, if you’re in a busy metropolitan area, you can bask in the sensation of the warm sun or spot some greenery that you never noticed before. “While you engage in these exercises, remember to take deep breaths and allow your thoughts to leave as you exhale,” Smiley says. “This can be done in real time — perhaps as part of your work commute, during your lunch runs, or even while you take a coffee break — and it’s a quick, simple way to bring clarity and spaciousness into the mind and more energy and focus into your life.” 

By scheduling time on your calendar to go outside (practicing your Microstep!), you’ll increase your chances of getting outdoors each day. Leaving the office for lunch or a quick walk will soon become a habit you don’t think twice about. 

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Dr. David Samadi: The astonishing body and mind benefits of exercising in the great outdoors – especially during a pandemic

by Dr. David Samadi
Community//

Who or What makes you happy?

by Alicia Cuomo
Community//

Cold-Weather Jumpstart: A Brisk Walk Can Reduce Stress and Boost Your Mood

by Sanity & Self

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.