by Mike J
Believe it or not, your next outdoor adventure could be doing more than merely fulfilling the adrenaline junkie in you. There are a surprising number of powerful life lessons thrown into the mix when embracing the great outdoors. And you probably aren’t even aware of them.
Take a leap of faith and embrace the great outdoors and you could be giving yourself much more than an exhilarating day out or weekend away. Life in the great outdoors has an extraordinary way of teaching us the greatest of life’s lessons. We’ve picked out 5 powerful life lessons you can make the most of on your next outdoor adventure.
Living in the present moment: Mindfulness for the adrenalin junkie
Much has been written about mindfulness and meditation and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s not something the average adrenaline junkie would give much time for. Surprisingly though, participators of extreme sports dedicate a huge amount of concentration and effort on one particular thing. Mountain and rock climbers, for example, are focused on the task in hand as a matter of safety. They are practicing mindfulness without even realizing it.
When engaging in an outdoor activity you are truly absorbing and observing your surroundings. It’s a far cry from everyday life, which is in most cases driven by a zillion distractions and the constant pinging of your phone. The pull for outdoor adventure is more often than not associated with a desire for adrenaline-laced activities. The irony is, outdoor adventures offer much more than excitement and release. They also offer direct, no-nonsense mind training.
A sense of connection part 1: Appreciating community
Our sense of appreciation for community is all too often dumbed down by busy modern living. Community happens around us all the time, but we often fail to appreciate it. There’s nothing quite like a team outdoor adventure in the wilderness to inspire appreciation for our diminishing community involvement. Hiking with a group in the wilderness gives us a stark reminder that our own existence depends upon the co-operation and involvement of others.
A sense of connection part 2: Appreciating nature
It’s a terrible thing, but many of us in the modern Western world are slowly disconnecting ourselves from nature. We are inadvertently closing off a general fascination with the natural world around us. Let’s face it, the closest many of us get to nature is an episode of David Attenborough’s Planet Earth on TV.
The fact is, connecting with nature is important for our well-being. It nurtures our natural creativity. A study last year conducted jointly by the University of Derby and The Wildlife Trust measured the impact of a daily practice to connect with nature over a period of 2 months. As reported by the BBC, the study showed that there was a scientifically significant increase in people’s health and happiness in accordance with a connection to nature, from simple activities such as feeding birds or planting flowers.
Appreciating nature comes with the territory of outdoor adventures, and that connection with the wild is it seems good for our health and our happiness.
Connecting to inner-resources
Part-taking in an outdoor adventure brings a great sense of accomplishment and can be extremely empowering. Whether you choose to rough it in the wild for a couple of weeks with friends or spend a day on an organized adventure activity, like those offered by Into The Blue, you’ll need to rely on your wits to get you through.
The Wilderness Foundation UK teaches adults and children to love our wild and wonderful planet. In their mission statement, they go as far as to say “The wilderness is an irreplaceable catalyst for personal transformation and growth.” Outdoor adventures offer the opportunity to discover inner resources we are unaware we have, or more succinctly we have forgotten about. The great outdoors presents the opportunity to strengthen life skills and reinforce crucial life lessons.
A sense of perspective
In the great outdoors many people experience a real sense of perspective. It’s so easy when we are running from pillar to post to lose perspective of what is important in life. We think we can’t live without checking our phones, Snapchatting or watching YouTube or even looking in the mirror. We see pretty much everything we rely on in modern life as a necessity.
An outdoor adventure reveals that it’s not only possible to live without checking social media channels and cooking in microwaves, but that in the right environment something as simple as cooking over a campfire is actually an unforgettably enjoyable experience. Swapping the TV dinner for a foraged bowl of soup in the great outdoors may not feel very appealing at face value, but try it and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your reliance on home comforts ebbs away.
It’s a wonderful world!
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