Have you ever heard the phrase Happiness is being outside?  (and if you haven’t…..now you have!  woot!)  Here at We Are Wildness, we think this statement is absolutely spot on.  Making time to get outside and interact with the natural world that is teeming with life and beauty and energy has proven essential to the team here, and I’d guess to many of you reading this as well.  From boosting mood to lessening anxiety to enhancing physical and mental wellbeing, spending time ‘rewilding’ and living a life closer to nature has offered up a plethora of benefits to people all over the world.  

And it’s worth noting here that as Kevin Park says, “rewilding doesn’t mean living in caves … gathering all your food from Nature … or demonizing human society. It’s about reconnecting with Nature – and yourself – in powerful, meaningful ways so you can access the good health and energy your body was designed to enjoy.” Rewilding is tapping into the part of yourself that yearns to be acknowledged, embraced and given a voice in a culture that sometimes drowns it out.

So without further adieu: 4 reasons to rewild your life.

You’ll feel better.

I work regularly as a wellness coach, and the phrase that I hear most often when asking why people wish to make changes to their habits?  “I want to feel better.” Of course this can be vastly different for everyone, but the overarching theme I’ve noticed is that we as a collective want to feel different than we typically do.  We want to have more energy, more zest for life, more clarity of mind.  We want to feel lighter on our feet, less tired and more excited about life in general.  These are sweeping generalizations, but I’ve heard them enough to see a pattern.  And I can say with confidence that going outside regularly will help.

You’ll build resiliency.

When you commit to going outside regularly, i.e. every single day, you’ll run into challenges.  It will rain on days that you want to sit outside and listen to the birds.  You’ll be in the middle of a work project on the weekend that you’d planned to go camping overnight.  It will be windy for a week straight, right when you were ready to start that bike commute.  But since you’ve committed to the challenge, you’ll make it happen.  You’ll sit outside in the rain, you’ll talk to your boss or delegate or figure out how to work differently to stop blowing off camping trips for work that could wait.  You’ll get a sweet wind breaker and pedal into the wind.  Some days maybe it just won’t work like you want it to, and that’s ok.  But you’ll be building the capacity to get through challenges and come out stronger on the other side.

You’ll find more of your tribe.

As you take on new adventures and seek out new spots to explore and share your experience, you’ll be exposed to more people, and some of those folks might be just who you need to meet.  Maybe you’ll find a rock climbing partner, or meet the lady who lives three doors down.  Maybe you’ll get to know some other stay at home dads or come across someone who wants to try kiteboarding just as much as you do.  You will build your network of people who value what you value, even as your own values evolve as you move through life.

You’ll learn how to be by yourself.

As you rewild, you’ll find opportunities to find joy in your own company.  You’ll go for long walks with nothing but the salty breeze and the waves for companionship.  You’ll discover that you like the silence that descends when you know the phone isn’t going to buzz and there are no electronic distractions pulling your attention in five different directions.  You’ll remember what it’s like to sit with your thoughts and be content.  You’ll feel connected to the Earth and come home to yourself in the process.

 

Join our 30 Day Nature Connection Challenge! Veteran rewilder or new, you are invited into the experience of figuring out what it means to rewild your life.  It’s worth saying again: Happiness is being outside!

Author Heidi Barr

Heidi Barr lives near the St. Croix River Valley in Minnesota with her husband and daughter where they tend a large organic vegetable garden, explore nature and do their best to live simply. She is committed to giving voice to ways of being on the earth that are life-giving and sustainable for people, communities and the planet. Visit her online at www.heidibarr.com. Her first book, Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside, came out in June 2016.

More posts by Heidi Barr