The Outdorian Magazine - Page 6

he association between the outdoors and happiness
1984, when he popularised the idea that we subconsciously
isn’t a new one, and it’s a concept that takes on many
desire affiliations with other forms of life. Expanding on
forms. The Japanese custom of ‘shinrin-yoku’, which
existing thoughts around biophilia, meaning ‘love of life
means to immerse in a forest atmosphere, is practiced
or living systems’, he proposed that the innate tendency
as a kind of restorative therapy that encourages clarity
people have to seek connections with nature is the product
and calmness. ‘Rewilding’ describes the return to simpler
of biological evolution. In other words, we’re all cut from the
ancestral ways of living, while ‘wild swimming’ emerged
same stuff.
to contest the ubiquity of chlorine pools, and advocate the
wellness benefits gleaned from swimming in waterholes,
tide pools, lakes and rivers.
The hypothesis may explain why we grow gardens and keep
potted plants indoors, why we are attracted to fluffy, wideeyed baby mammals and not spiders, and in our minds,
From these few examples, one simple point can be drawn:
why we love escaping the city to go camping as much as
it feels good to be out in nature. Some make the case that
we do. Most people – and we’d be remiss not to mention
this is because we belong there.
the biophobes out there who have the exact opposite
In Australia, you only need to go back a couple of hundred
years to revisit a time when the connection between
response – become clear, focused, calm and relaxed when
they’re surrounded by nature.
people and the environment was closest, when reliance on
Of course, the subconscious desire to connect with other
the offerings of the land meant the rule of plants, animals,
living things includes each other. As the most social animals
seasons and weather shaped every aspect of human
on Earth, quality time with friends and family plays a vital role
existence. While these ancestral ties continue to survive
in our overall happiness. With technology and social media
within the very fibre of our beings, they are thought to run
being increasingly used to replace rather than supplement
much deeper – several billion years in fact, to the Earth’s
real human interactions – a habit that can exacerbate
earliest lifeforms.
feelings of social isolation, as well as impair communication
Edward O. Wilson hit this particular nail on the head in
and conflict resolution skills – it’s more important than ever
to schedule screen-free time with loved ones.


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