OUR FIRST VIDEO EPISODE! Today we are going to be ULTRA present! I am out here in nature, one of my favorite places to discuss the power of Be Present. This is also the first episode of the Happiness Playbook that we are going to put out in video form as well so if you’d like to see the full production, head over to our YouTube channel and check it out!.
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LINKS From Show
As we bask in the outdoors today, we’re going to discuss the benefits of being present and “unplugging” and then some tips to help us put that in action. Let’s start with a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar:
How many birds in your life are flying away in neglect? That’s a tough question to answer sometimes. And I recognize there are seasons of busy...Aubrea and I have had our fair share of busyness throughout our lives, but when distraction becomes our default setting the quality of our lives deteriorates dramatically. Happiness has been scientifically linked to the quality of our relationships repeatedly and if we don’t make time for our friends we won’t have any. But being present for others is not the only focus here and we know by now that us being present with ourselves, and calming down the chaos long enough to hear ourselves think, process emotions, and ideate is VERY important.
There is loads of evidence of the positive effects of going outside and detaching from technology.
Aside from the obvious vitamin D benefits, on Forbes.com we read: “Hundreds of studies have linked spending time outside to better health outcomes like decreases in incidences of diabetes and cardio-vascular mortality, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and better immune system function. In fact, these positive effects that are so well-documented that more and more doctors are issuing “nature prescriptions” to help treat a range of conditions from heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, to chronic stress, depression and anxiety, insomnia and even PTSD.”
That’s unreal! What a cool thing that even in the medical community there is traction around the concept of getting outside and how beneficial it is. On particularly stressful days it is very helpful for me to get outside. And if you don’t live right next to nature, a park or stroll down a quiet street can have a similar impact.
MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS
The change of scenary and fresh (or fresher) air can help us navigate stress and anxiety as well. On businessinsider.com the mental health benefits are highlighted as well:
“One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in a city.
In another study, researchers found a decrease in both the heart rates and levels of cortisol of participants who spent time in the forest compared to those in the city. "Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy," the researchers concluded. Among office workers, even a view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.”
When you head outside, especially during stressful times (big presentation, tests, relational turmoil, or whatever it might be) you feel better. You get your blood pumping, you change your environment, and if you silence your phone or leave it at home, you’re able to better emotionally recharge and come back at the day with more focus and energy.