In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir
Nature is a where man came from and it is where we ultimately return. The science behind the healing powers of nature and the desire to take a walk or hike through the mountains is engrained into the human psyche, we forget sometimes that there is a world without screens.
As a mixed martial artist, you would figure that the vast majority of my human experience is physical and that is true. However, there is a power that comes with the escape from civilization and a reconnection to the earth invigorates the mind and body. Studies conducted in Japan and Finland determined that strolling through nature versus urban settings reduces stress.
This past week my training partners and I went to the woods and enjoyed a cabin and the forest. We hiked trails and became wild again for a while. Dojo is meant to be in nature and chase squirrels and dig holes and play. The lack of light pollution made the trip feel like that galaxy is just right there, we are in the suburbs of the Milky Way!
Nature according to Jill Suttie in her article How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative cited a 2015 study by Gregory Bratman, of Stanford University, [declaring he] “has found evidence that nature may impact our mood in other ways,” by observing “that those who walked in nature experienced less anxiety, rumination (focused attention on negative aspects of oneself), and negative affect, as well as more positive emotions, in comparison to the urban walkers. They also improved their performance on the memory tasks,” (2016).
Suttie went on to explain through evidentiary studies that nature fosters creativity, makes people feel more generous, and alive. We felt every bit of that. It was great to run wild and explore. Our minds, our bodies, our brains need a hard reset sometimes. Nature is a great place to escapes, to train, and to return to our complete selves. So, make a commitment today to at some point this summer or even fall to get away into the warm embrace of nature. Reconfigure your outlook on life and howl with the wolves.
The warrior’s heart is out there, go and find your roots. Forge your hearts armor from the suns rays that hit the forest floor. Fold your minds sword one thousand times on your walks like the Katana of Feudal Japan. Reconnect with pulse of the earth, feel the dirt beneath your feet, but remember to clean up after yourself. Take care of your experience with nature so others can enjoy what you did.