Industrialization took people’s jobs indoors, and the information age has assured that most jobs will stay there. With so much of life revolving around being indoors, there may be many people who rarely spend time outdoors in nature and even more who wonder why they should even bother anyway. There are, of course, the mental and physical benefits of doing outdoors, but there are reasons that have to do with why it is mentally and physically beneficial for people to be out in nature.
When people are busy with life, appreciating what is around them is a challenge. But if one were to step outside and really look, they would encounter beauty. The beauty of the natural world is easy to overlook. It is almost ignorable because of its ordinariness. But nature is ordinary because it is all around us, but it is extraordinary when people take the time to really appreciate it. This is why there are people who truly love the outdoors. They like to slow down and see the beauty of nature from hiking or horseback riding trails. They appreciate listening to and seeing the wind rustle the trees from their front porch.
While the physical and mental benefits of spending time outdoors are frequently sighted, one of the residual benefits that are rarely discussed is how outdoors can help develop gratitude. Those people sitting on their porches with the trees rustling in the background are experiencing wonder. Their attention is captured by the natural world and there is a fundamental appreciation for these simple, natural things. This wonder allows for deeper gratitude for the smaller things in life–for the simple beauty of a flower or a bee or the pleasure of a cool breeze.
When one goes outdoors, the things that are there–the birds, trees, flowers–just are what they are. They live as they were meant to. Taking time to go outdoors and admire nature for what it is and allowing it to be is a practice that acknowledges that there can be great value in things that do not need to be consumed. The things of the natural world offer beauty and simplicity and the opportunity to experience wonder. Nature, ultimately, can give people perspective.
Nature is simple yet complex. Going out into the natural world has so much to offer humanity that to say going outside has mental and physical benefits is truly an understatement. Nature offers so much more. People really should go outside and take a look around.