There is a reason why there’s a stereotype about well-known authors going out into the woods to isolate themselves and write. All we must do is refer to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, or Henry David Thoreau’s Walden to realize there might just be something to that stereotype.
Maybe the idea of nature making people more creative isn’t just a stereotype. I find that I am so much happier when I spend time outside. My whole family takes at least one full weekend per month, where we load up the camper and head up to the mountains—no cell phones. No television. Nothing but the smell of pine trees and wild sage, insects are singing their evening songs, and the most evident, starriest night-sky you could imagine.
How nature can Make you Kinder
It isn’t just some myth that communing with nature can make us kinder. There is scientific proof that spending time in nature has been shown to cultivate stronger ties to the community and closer relationships.
Evidently, it makes us more financially generous as well! It makes sense, too. When we are in nature, we are basically stripping away all the human-made, artificial aspects of society.
Nature doesn’t care what kind of job you have, what type of phone you have, or what kind of car you drive. We find it easier to connect once all that material stuff is stripped away. We are just people, then. It levels the playing field and allows us to be more empathetic and kinder to one another.
How Nature Can Make You Happier
Have you ever noticed how, when the days are long and the sun is shining, you’re just in a better mood? Yeah, me too. There is absolutely nothing like being outside with the sun on your face, and the gentle breeze caressing your skin.
I’d be willing to bet that even just imagining yourself outside with the sun shining and a gentle breeze makes you feel good. Being outside makes people feel more alive. And again, it strips us of a lot of the stresses that we experience in our daily lives.
There’s a reason why people use nature sounds to decompress and de-stress. Whether it’s the sound of crickets on a summer evening, a birdsong, a babbling brook, or ocean waves crashing onto the shore, the sounds of nature are proven to help people relax. And relaxed people are HAPPY people!
“Jan. 27. Primroses, Polyanthus, Winter Aconite, Mazereon, and Snowdrops are all in flower in the garden. Every mild morning now the birds are singing and they continue more or less throughout the day.” Edith Holden, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (pg. 9).
How Nature Can Make You More Creative
Edith Holden created some charming landscape scenes that feature both natural plants and animals. Nature can spur creativity and is known to reduce “attention fatigue.” You know how we’re constantly being inundated with flashing screens, constant connectivity, and artificial lighting? That stuff drains our creative capacity.
The more attached we get to our screens and devices, the less “out of the box” thinking we are capable of. Conversely, spending time in nature helps refocus that constant attention-grabbing stuff in our brains. It allows us to think creatively and to BE more creative.
Some of the most beautiful works of poetry are about nature. The most beautiful paintings in the world are nature scenes. Simply stripping away all the chaos and technology allows us just to BE, which opens the door for a whole realm of creative possibilities.
“The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made, It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan to catch the breezy air
And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasure there.”
Edith Holden writes out a work by William Wordsworth in The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady in the March excerpt.
The joy of spring brings out the creativity in people in so many ways because it gets people outside more–even back in 1906. Most of us can relate to the sense of calm and serenity in merely being outdoors. We often attribute summertime to being happier than the cold, dreary months of winter.
When we think about it, it makes sense. We generally spend more time outdoors and in nature in the summer months than in the winter months! It makes sense that being in nature makes us kinder, happier, and more creative.