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Why do I think clearer and am less stressed outside?

 
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Is it the lack of people watching me, helping my introverted brain not worry about that, and freeing it up to deal with other stuff? Is it the open space? The soothing sounds?

When my son was a newborn, he was colicky. He cried a LOT, and I spent as much time as I could outside. It soothed him, and it soothed me. It helped my postpartum depression, as long as I was out there. I'd take him out there, strapped on my chest in all sorts of weather. We'd stand and stare at our little stream, and as long as I was there, he didn't cry. We'd walk around and I'd blab on and on about the color and species of trees and the color of the sky and whatever was going on, and we both made it through.

Now that my kids are older, I still find it easier to think and exist outside. Is it because of so many positive experiences outside? Is it because there's no distraction of the internet (we don't have cellphones, so we can and do escape from the draw of technology when outside)?

It doesn't seem to matter whether it's cloudy or rainy or snowy or sunny, I always feel better outside. The beauty of snow makes my brain say "ahhhhhh" at a whole 'nother level, but even on the drizzliest day, I feel happier outside than inside.

Am I the only one like this? Why are our brains like this? How do people in cities cope? I know when I was a city dweller, I always felt pressed down and befuddled, and didn't realize how bad it was until I moved out her and my brain could finally...breath (is that the right word?) again.
 
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I think part of the thing that makes being outside make me feel better is that it "just feels right." I think it is appropriate to compare city-living to being a fish out of water, because as far as I understand, we evolved in jungle and prairie environments, so, it is only natural that we feel at ease and more relaxed when we are in our natural habitat.

As a city-dweller, I barely cope. It feels so weird for me, and I feel fight or flight instinct a lot being in urban environments. A lot of the times, in cities and high-population areas, my first instinctual feelings when someone I don't know approaches me are along the lines of, "who the fuck are you? why do you want to talk to me? Are you a threat?"

I typically feel safest in a city when I am in the parks or on some kind of nature trail or in some public garden. Visiting animal shelters, wildlife refuge centers, botanical gardens, or living museums helps me, too.  
 
pollinator
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I am trying to find the study again now, but I read that becoming relaxed just walking through a forest isn't just a psychosomatic thing, or at least, it's happening on an involuntary, biochemical level.

Apparently, the specific chemical compounds that we inhale when we smell forest decomposition actually has a calming effect on us, lowering blood pressure and stress levels.

I would venture a guess to say that similar things happen with other related, likely soil-organism-produced chemical compounds.

-CK
 
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Hello ! This is my first post on here and im not sure im doing this right but i just wanted to say Amen on this topic of the healing magical abilities of being in nature.....when im in nature i feel like i have come home! When i think about what i want to do its always something outside...and the more remote away from cars and houses and construction noise the better....i am excited to read this book it is speaking to me
Mother nature is my soul buddy!

Did i do this correctly?
 
Chris Kott
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Welcome to Permies, Bridgette!

Not to detract from its magic, but if it is magical, it is a magic that can be described scientifically, which I appreciate. It means that if, for instance, I want my backyard space to be all the more relaxing, I might get an even better result if there is a small, shaded forest area upwind of where I relax, with a nice, thick pile of leaves slowly creating leaf mould through slow, cool, mostly fungal decomposition. That might increase the ambient levels of decompositional chemical compounds that trigger those autonomous physiological reactions.

Heck, maybe even putting a leaf mould bin or pile upwind, one kept at a constant humidity, would do the same. These are things we could test.

-CK
 
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It is because of communication, not by words, concepts or ideas.  It is through the heart.  Many cultures knew this truth, a good example would be Native Americans. They called it shante ishta, the single eye of the heart.  We don't have a word for it today.  We have lost touch with it, and suffer the consequences with all the ills of world today.  

The Native Americans spoke to the birds, trees, wind and water, not with social constructs, but with the heart.  Mere words cannot even begin to describe this.

It is a misconception to believe that we "came into" this world.  It invokes a feeling of separatism with our whole environment...and anxiety will surely follow.  This is the root problem, and the earth, our home, is suffering the consequences of it today.  Our skin is not a barrier, but a receptor to our environment, which is part of us.  We grew out of this world.

As a young man, I too was very introverted, shy.   As I have grown older, realizing this truth, as I stated above, helped me overcome my fears of others.  We all see the world through the same lense, and it is our thoughts and beliefs that distort it.  

When we head into nature, those subtle feelings we get of peace and happiness is our natural environment speaking to us.  We have to learn to speak back, through the heart.
 
pollinator
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Hi Nicole,

To answer your initial question, its most likely the result if increased serotonin production, which is somewhat photosensitive. The right spectrum of light is scientifically proven to increase the brains natural production of serotonin. As diurnal beings, our chemistry is tied to the natural light cycles, with the rising sun triggering serotonin production, and with the lack of sun, or after sunset using that aboundant serotonin as a precursor for even melatonin production. Melatonin being the brain chemical associated with sleeping.

Im not saying you don't have other subconscious or conscious positive associations with the outdoors, I'm just pointing out the scientific and proven relevance of light and how it triggers different and highly relevant neuro chemicals in association with the human circadian system. Besides cones and rods other light reception cells exist in the eyes, and send messages to different parts of the brain, to trigger different processes within the brains neuro chemistry.

This is why many people are happy on sunny days, and feel less happy during the low light hours of winter. Its also the reason people use whats called a happy light, to treat SAD, (seasonal affective disorder). The lack of light hours or light intensity is said to decrease serotonin production, and serotonin is described as the neuro chemical associated with happiness. If you like sunny days, you don't need a diagnostic of sad, or a prescription to use a happy light, as they are available over the counter in the US.

If you notice a drastic affect of sunlight on your emotional being, it may be worth looking into a happy light, especially for around winter solice or on those dark cloudy days.

This is of course for educational purposes only, and isn't meant to diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness or disease.

Hope that helps!
 
pollinator
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Probably another factor is that if we are indoors we are very likely to be looking at some sort of screen or absorbing either artificial light or else light that was filtered through something. And we know for sure that blue light can have effects on your ability to sleep, for example, so maybe it has to do with the types of light your eyes are exposed to.
For me, it's probably more all the cool stuff to look at. Plus it smells good!
 
Chris Kott
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Ed, I would consider that kind of assessment reasoning by analogy, especially when we can look at the biochemical reactions in the brain to differing light levels and differing effects on the body from different parts of the light spectrum. I would say that, for the most part, there is reason behind the ancient way of seeing things, but that the phenomenon was described the way it was because there was no mental currency for that kind of information exchange.

Like ancient soil-building or pre-Columbian planting practices, they couldn't have known about microscopic beings, but they could have taken note that specific things changed depending on, say, how their planted mounds were assembled, and what the ingredients were, and informed their planting practices that way.

I think that if you're exiting an indoor space that is mainly artificially lit and filled with screens, or else dark, that going into the brightly-lit outdoors will definitely boost your serotonin levels, and that could be behind more energy. If you're moving into a forested space with dappled light, I think that the light might have less to do with it than the body's reaction to the smells of forest decomposition.

Then there's the opinion of forest bathers, who seem to think that relaxation is due to a combination of higher oxygen levels, and also levels of antibacterial and antifungal biochemicals produced by forest trees and plants.

I know that for me, I get an added boost if there's physical activity that yields a satisfying end result, such as a hugelbeet dug and made, or a field planted. And I associate being in that headspace with being outside later, which makes me feel satisfied, successful, and accomplished after the fact, which might make me more productive doing other things, a feedback loop.

-CK
 
R. Steele
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Chris Kott,

To add to your last post to Ed, it can also be said, depending on those light sources, they can allegedly generate or have additional EMF frequencies that may have impacts undesirable to human physiology. Not to mention a pluthera of other EMFs associated within or of close proximity to homes. There are claims that the EMF of electricity alone, meaning clean 60 hz electricity, can have less then desirable effects when in close proximity to the brain while sleeping. I personally haven’t examined all the resurch to see the definitive evidence in its full relevance or application to the claim regarding electricity or dirty electricity, and or what amounts of supporting or undisputed evidence supports such claims; however, strong evidence has been perposed to exsist at least supporting such claims regarding EMF in general, that many EMFs including dirty electricity, which is electrical frequencies deviating from the standard 60 hz, can have less then desirable effects on human physiology. Allegedly florescent lights and even led lights which both use a type of ballast or inverter, effects or changes the frequency of electricity, and as a result the radiating EMF within the vicinity of those locations. As it's been alleged dirty electricity is less desirable then clean 60 hz electricity regarding the negative impact of the frequency.

Different frequencies have different levels of effect, though the basic allegations of these claims regarding less then desirable and or harmful effects of wireless EMF were presented before Congress backing the testimony by a medical resurcher who reviewed and compiled the overwhelming amount of studies, hundreds of them peer reviewed, which support such claims in relevance to biological health and or the detriment of biological health in various aspects from EMFs.

Im sure it can be argued both ways, in many facets, with many unknows also in regards to this spacific situation of referance, but if I'm not mistaken as previously mentioned, substantial research already exists supporting certian EMFs and or frequencies, can interfere with natural biological processes, and have serious less then desirable effects on most organisms, even to the degree regarding the questions raised in this thread. And as most indoor places have aboundant sources of these unnatural frequencies, EMFs, getting out where the natural frequencies of human adaption occured, could have some subconscious and or conscious benefits in contrast.

Call it a theory or thesis in some aspects of this post, but irrelevant to those related allegations, evidence does support if not prove, certian and very common EMFs prevalent in most households and or cities, can have varying negative impacts, as supported by the peer reviewed studies backing the testimony of the aforementioned resurcher who testified before Congress on the subject.
 
pollinator
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That's a great question(s). I feel best when its an overcast, light rain, almost gloomy day. What many would call a miserable day, is perfect and soothing to me. Especially in the woods. I think for me it has a lot to do with the auditory aspect. In that gentle rain with low clouds most sounds don't travel, or are so muffled they disappear into the rain. I'm sure that there are studies done and scientific answers to what goes on in the human body to explain the "what" why like R. Steele points out with serotonin production.  But the "why" why is much more difficult as I believe it has to do with the origins of humans. Why do we produce the serotonin. Unless you have a TARDIS we cannot observe the origins to know it as fact.
If we originated through evolution then we, as a species, spent vast amounts of time surviving and evolving outdoors as Dave pointed out.
If we were created by God as described in the Bible, we were created from soil and placed in a garden to tend it. The origins of mankind was to be outdoors, permaculturing.

Either way, I find it fascinating.
I also find it fascinating that humans tend to acclimate better to the natural(fields and  forests) than they do the unnatural (cities), yet we continue to build more, bigger cities, then try to reintegrate nature back into them.



 
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Loads of articles and research on EMF:  https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emf/default.html
 
Dave Burton
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Rainy days are wonderful when I don’t want to be around anyone! Tough weather makes getting my alone time and peaceful quiet time so much easier!
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Is it because there's no distraction of the internet (we don't have cellphones, so we can and do escape from the draw of technology when outside)?

I'd just like to remind the universe that even if you *do* own a cell phone, there is no law saying that you must carry it everywhere and sleep with it. We have portable phones and I only carry one outside if I have some specific need or reason. I was recently give a cell phone and I only carry it to my garden if I want to take a picture. I'd rather enjoy the feeling of being in the garden and while I generally have a goal in mind, stopping to watch the bees or birds fills my soul. Today I gently encouraged a garden snake to move away only because I didn't want to accidentally hurt it, and I hope it had been hunting slugs!
Technology has changed so quickly that in my opinion, social mores have not adapted. Hopefully they will.
 
Nicole Alderman
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For me, my problem is addiction. I am very easily addicted to screens. If I had a cellphone, I would be staring at it, or struggling not to stare at it. I have to keep myself from the computer room in our house, because if I'm in there, I'll check permies and facebook like an addict, and get sucked in, rather than doing something productive or playing with or teaching my kids.
 
Jay Angler
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They are absolutely addictive and programmers design them to be so. That's why I cringe when I see small children with unrestricted access to gameboys/phones/Ipads etc. In this post by Nicole Alderman - https://permies.com/t/40/111237/baby-brain-development-trauma-vaccines#911064 - she talks about how behavior/trauma/stress can impact the next generation through epigenics, and having just read that post, it makes me wonder what effect our current screen addiction will have on our offspring. They are already showing vision changes due to screens.
This is too scary to think about - I'm going back to my garden!
 
pollinator
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I love this thread! Aside from all the scientific biological stuff being out in nature feels like coming home and delights my soul, I feel connected. Visually it is so beautiful and soothing, it makes me feel centered, peaceful and I breath deeper. The vast richness and abundance of the natural world and wildlife is fascinating and inspiring, it makes me feel an energetic lift and I think more creatively.

For me the reason we feel so much better outside in nature is because we belong there, it's our natural habitat!

I think we tend to make our homes more like an artificial world than an extension of the natural world. No wonder it's a relief to "escape" out of it and into the natural world. I believe we can take measures to make our homes more inline with the natural world to make them feel more restful and "natural". That's probably a whole other thread though.
 
Dave Burton
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Jay Angler wrote:They are absolutely addictive and programmers design them to be so. That's why I cringe when I see small children with unrestricted access to gameboys/phones/Ipads etc. In this post by Nicole Alderman - https://permies.com/t/40/111237/baby-brain-development-trauma-vaccines#911064 - she talks about how behavior/trauma/stress can impact the next generation through epigenics, and having just read that post, it makes me wonder what effect our current screen addiction will have on our offspring. They are already showing vision changes due to screens.
This is too scary to think about - I'm going back to my garden!



Um, on a slightly related note, in this thread, I describe a bit about my relationship with technology. I don't want to derail this thread, so nobody please respond to my comment on this, but I also bound and gag all my technology, because I believe in the "right to have peace of mind" and the "right to bodily integrity," both of which I believe include me getting to decide what information enters my head, how that information enters my head, and being able to actively choose and decide how my own brain functions and works.(if I end up derailing this, I'll be splitting off all posts replying to this comment of mine and moving those to the Cider Press with my comment here)

====================

Now, less political stuff about technology. I find that having the wavelengths of light matching the sunlight throughout the day helps me, too. I find that natural sunlight in the outdoors makes me feel the best out of all types of light. Then, I find that sunlight through glass feels okay. And then, I find candlelight, fires, and incandescent light to be okay. Then, LED's are kind of okay, but they make me feel ancy and uncomfortable. And then, fluorescent lights, I want to shootout every one of those bulbs, because they feel so strange for me to be under. The light from those makes me feel weird and anxious more.

I also feel off whenever I am up before or after sunset. Ever since growing up as a kid, I have almost always had a strong aversion to moving around or being awake at night. I feel wrong when I am awake at night. I have a strong instinctual and primal feeling of "you do not belong here" and "you should not be awake" whenever I am awake for whatever reason before or after sunset. That took me awhile to feel vaguely okay with when I got into high school, because classwork and such. But being awake at night almost always makes me feel out of place.
 
pollinator
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I have been living in nature for a very long time.
I also have internet, for connexion ... to humans!

I have actually even made a group about what animals and nature bring to us! Somatic behavior examples: What can we learn from animals & nature? https://www.facebook.com/groups/969530926557636/
It seems that the topic is still strange and impenetrable as the jungle for most people!

The main point for me is that nature shows life with all the fractals forms we can see in plants. Life is the fractal of the universe!
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Xisca Nicolas
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Then there is another different point: the power of ORIENTING through sensory input to what is beautiful, pleasurable, because actually we are stressed inside, in the meaning of inside US. When we focus outside with our sense, we feed ourselves with the here and now.
We need to be mindful of the outside before accessing fluently our mindfulness.

Have you been lost in you thoughts, and then suddenly coming back to here and suddenly notice that birds were singing? This is what is called orienting at the level of our body awareness, to be located and in contact with the outside of our body. I have noticed that even if I am often more present than many people, I am still far from the level of people who were fully brought up in nature. We just do not know up to what point we have not learned what we are supposed to, if we would go on like babies do in their environment. Even lambs less than one week old walk better than us!

We need to remember to lift our head from our job and connect to the environment. We should not relax: it should happen on its own, and we can just trigger it happens by looking around and notice what spontaneously attracts our eyes. Then we can notice the effect on our body, so that the effect can even deepen more...

There is sensation and perception, inside and outside.

We just focus more than half of the time to the inside of us, through sensations, thoughts and emotions.
It is so much easier to use our senses in nature! Even when birds sing each for its own sake, it is harmonious. All colors match. No part of nature needs to spend time matching its colors when dressing up!
Look around
Hear around
smell around...
Touch feel and taste when safe...

Let's do this more and en-joy!

I also feel I am with friends, as I recognize all plants (if not by its name, I mean I KNOW them = when I see it small I know how it looks like later or in flower. I also know if it had water or drough etc etc). When I hear a bird, I can get its inner image in me. Most smells are also familiar.

I also learned stars, because I wanted to be oriented in its "compass meaning", and also be familiar with this big part of nature, and it is beautiful! We just do not know up to what point who have not learned. imagine all the time we spent at school, not-learning what we should have! It is never to late, we can learn all our life. Soem people say they do not need this learning, but that would be like not knowing the name of the people around you and not knowing their tastes! We are beings of relationship and social engagement, and we need to focus out of us through our senses.
 
Jay Angler
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I think that when I'm outside, I get more sensory input. Today I was getting some creeping buttercup out of the garden (because I'd rather have strawberries there) and I could feel the sun on my face, and I was beside a black current and I could smell the flowers (I'd never realized how much the flowers smell like the fruit tastes), and then I heard a robin calling in a tree and I just don't get the same input when I'm inside. That is totally experiential and I'm willing to accept that science has its place, but so does just doing what brings positive vibes.
 
pollinator
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As a human species we dwelled in caves for a long time, deprived of the sounds of birds, the rustling of leaves, the humming of insects, the warm feeling of the sun on our face, the cooling of a breeze. Surely we have developed as a species a sense that it was not ok to be too long in the cave, because when we were outside, we were gathering food, our work. Evolution favored people who liked being at work, let the serotonine flow.
When you're outside unexpected things happen all the time, you've got to be alert on terrain you don't know, blood is flowing, heart is pumping, you breath, you look, you wonder, you admire, you see change, you accept, you embrace the fact we are what we are, small vulnerable beings in a big promising and dangerous world, thankful to be alive.
In our caves we are surrounded by dead things, looking at screens that constantly remind us of people more succesful, celebrity culture, or imminent death, the news or distration AI produced modern "music" and guys kicking or hitting a ball or each, sports, reading books, studying how to be a well behaved, well develloped inside creature. Life inside is meaningless. Bey, going outside now!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Jay Angler wrote:I think that when I'm outside, I get more sensory input.


lol we just said the same, but I was lacking this english words! I have added them....
Thanks for being short and concise.

Indeed it needs more effort to do it inside! We still can use our senses more and especially more often.

And there are a lot of people who do not use their senses enough outside, even when they think they do. I live in nature near a touristic path. People are looking around and apreciating the beauty, but they miss half of what is to be seen. Sometimes they refer more to the book for chosing a path and dont even see the red and white GR 130 painted indications along the way, and end up at my place because they also did not see the red and white cross.... Then they complain I should put a sign saying "private"!!! And their way of walking damage paths in some places...
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Hugo Morvan wrote:As a human species we dwelled in caves for a long time, deprived of the sounds of birds, the rustling of leaves, the humming of insects, the warm feeling of the sun on our face, the cooling of a breeze.
When you're outside unexpected things happen all the time, you've got to be alert on terrain you don't know, blood is flowing, heart is pumping, you breath, you look, you wonder, you admire, you see change, you accept, you embrace the fact we are what we are, small vulnerable beings in a big promising and dangerous world, thankful to be alive.


Hi Hugo, I used to live in Burgundy and now I live in a cave, and you should try, so that you know that they are open to the outside, full of insects, and that sounds come in! And they are full of forms that "modern caves" do not have!

You are right about being stimulated outside, but you have also an imaginary view that I used to have about "alert on terrain you don't know", because this is OUR modern view when we go into nature! Actually, our ancesters knew their ground as well as we know our town! lol no... much better!

Yes the world is dangerous, but our ancesters in nature knew much better than us where the danger was coming from, this is also a big part for why we are stressed: we now much less than them where the danger can come from. They grew up with people they knew, and they were together to protect each other against animals we have all killed for our security, and in the end man is a wolf for man!

"Alert" in those days did not mean what we call it now. We are alert at night when coming back home and we know we should have come back earlier. This is not even "alert", we have many of us become "Hyper-vigilant".

I can tell for having experienced it, that when we are fully present, we notice everything, and we are not in alert, because we trust that our body is wise and is going to react when and if needed. We just lack the practise....
 
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I am happiest when I'm outside, but only if I'm not in a city.  I've become rather phobic about going out when many people can see what I'm doing.  I've got a pretty good handle on why, but it's still a huge struggle sometimes just to get out the door.  I'm trying to find a place where this won't be much of an issue for me.  If I can have solitude outside sometime during the day, it helps me deal with masses of people.

When I can get into the bush, or even the woods, there is a huge sense of relief and relaxation.  I get that to some degree just by being outside out of a city, but I've been stuck in a city for far too long.  If I had the right property, I'd probably sleep outside most nights.
 
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I've been working from home for 5 years now while living in the city; it's really convenient and all but I feel like it's taking a big toll on my health. Haven't been sleeping well, been gaining weight, losing agility and strength, plus I am more stressed out lately. I have a few plants and a turtle pond that I look at on my breaks and they help me to calm down and feel more relaxed since we are usually just answering calls back to back.

My favorite place is the chaparral desert; I go hiking and sleep under the mesquite trees when I'm exhausted and it makes me feel like everything is right in the world once again. My mind is clearer and I just feel happier in general. Reconnecting with nature is the only viable solution I see.
 
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:
Hi Hugo, I used to live in Burgundy and now I live in a cave, and you should try, so that you know that they are open to the outside, full of insects, and that sounds come in! And they are full of forms that "modern caves" do not have!



I don't live in a cave, but I want to.
 
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Mike Autumn
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Dave Burton wrote:I think part of the thing that makes being outside make me feel better is that it "just feels right." I think it is appropriate to compare city-living to being a fish out of water, because as far as I understand, we evolved in jungle and prairie environments, so, it is only natural that we feel at ease and more relaxed when we are in our natural habitat.

As a city-dweller, I barely cope. It feels so weird for me, and I feel fight or flight instinct a lot being in urban environments. A lot of the times, in cities and high-population areas, my first instinctual feelings when someone I don't know approaches me are along the lines of, "who the fuck are you? why do you want to talk to me? Are you a threat?"

I typically feel safest in a city when I am in the parks or on some kind of nature trail or in some public garden. Visiting animal shelters, wildlife refuge centers, botanical gardens, or living museums helps me, too.  



I can't agree enough with what you said; I had never really though about it but that's exactly how I feel: like a fish out of water. Just yesterday I was downtown and couldn't help but be overwhelmed by so many people meandering throughout the sidewalk, the endless stretches of concrete jungles and the constant rumble of cars.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I agree that being in nature "feels right" and that cities are places where we should feel like fish outside the water. Except that we do not die, so the paradox is that we would more likely die if we were "fished out" of our modern world now!

As a nature dweller, I notice, sadly, that what does not feel right in nature are ....people.

When will we realize that if it takes time to study what we do at school or at university, all this time was not employed for learning what we should or should have, in order to not only feel well in nature, but that nature feel well with us?

We have to do something for children, so that they want to live in nature and chose the right jobs and studies to be able to reach this goal! At least they need to be sent to nature during all their holidays, or else they do not learn the right body movements and orienting capacities, to mention a few. I proposed this for years and it was wonderful...
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Mike Autumn wrote:

Dave Burton wrote:As a city-dweller, I barely cope. It feels so weird for me, and I feel fight or flight instinct a lot being in urban environments. A lot of the times, in cities and high-population areas, my first instinctual feelings when someone I don't know approaches me are along the lines of, "who the fuck are you? why do you want to talk to me? Are you a threat?"  


I was downtown and couldn't help but be overwhelmed by so many people meandering throughout the sidewalk, the endless stretches of concrete jungles and the constant rumble of cars.


This is exactly what I have noticed with animals too. Thinking about our pets like dogs we take for walks: we ask them to behave with outsiders as if they already knew each other!
The real problem of humans about feeling safe or not, is also to be asked to be with unknown people as if we all knew each other. It indeed triggers fight & flight responses. By the way, be happy if you can still handle fight & flight and feel it, because this is indeed the natural response.  Those who might be happy to not feel this can be using the third F which is freeze. This is when you put yourself in a bubble to create an artificial distance. This is fine too but more taxing on the nervous system (in terms of energy expenditure) if it happens often or lasts. Then it can become more difficult to be socially present to others, or we can feel it takes time, as tired muscles taking time to relax.

We are actually absolutely made for social engagement, but in a safe way, which means with not too many people and with familiar people. This is obvious with children and even more with young ones, just look at their spontaneous reactions. Even if we reinforce our capacity for more intensity, adults are asked to over-ride their natural impulses much too often.

So indeed nature relaxes us because of the difference. Actually, when living in nature, the fight and flight and freeze responses are also there and come back. Those who would like to live in nature but don't, stay in cities because it has been until now the only place where they could work and live. There is a type of safety in cities, or else who would stay there?
 
Dave Burton
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Also, when describing my umwelt to other people, I find it best to make the analogy that I am more of a dog than most people, because my strongest memories and emotional reactions to people and places come from sound and smell. I don't typically remember much visual stuff, mostly just how the visual stuff made me feel.

And the characteristic senses, sound and smell, in my umwelt are part of why I feel more at peace in nature and so out of place in cities and around lots of people.

People, especially in cities, I think smell pretty weird. I find the smells of most deoderants, shampoos, and soaps off-putting. I can tell when people are holding in their shit, and that really makes me angry, because I find that really disgusting. There's a lot of people I don't like simply because of their smell (or sounds). I also find they sound pretty weird. I'm not sure if this bothers other people, it's probably just because sound is more visceral to me, but I don't like some people just because of the sounds they make of living- the patterns of someone's breathing sounding "off" or "not right," hearing digestive issues of another person, any kind of fidgeting or repetitive movement.

Asides from people in cities, the sounds and smells of cars really make me repulsed. Car exhaust smells extremely nasty to me, and car honking and car alarms hurt my ears. So, the sound and smell of cars makes me uneasy.

On the flip side, Nature puts me at peace, because I find the sounds and smells to be so pleasing. I appreciate the chirping of birds. I appreciate the lack of people- their sounds and smells. I appreciate the fresh air and how clean it smells. I appreciate the emptiness of some areas- how little smell of sound there is. I appreciate the tiny little rustling of squirrels and chipmunks. I appreciate the smell of blooming flowers. I appreciate the smell of soil.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Dave Burton wrote:I'm not sure if this bothers other people, it's probably just because sound is more visceral to me...

Asides from people in cities, the sounds and smells of cars really make me repulsed.

On the flip side, Nature puts me at peace, because I find the sounds and smells to be so pleasing. I appreciate the chirping of birds. I appreciate the lack of people- their sounds and smells. I appreciate the fresh air and how clean it smells. I appreciate the emptiness of some areas- how little smell of sound there is. I appreciate the tiny little rustling of squirrels and chipmunks. I appreciate the smell of blooming flowers. I appreciate the smell of soil.


I am also bothered by detergents and perfumes, but not by my blooming orange trees!
I also hate car fumes and permanent tirering sounds.
It is just self-protection for me...
Those who stand it have to block something inside themselves I guess!

Nature puts us at peace, and we have to find a way to both live and regenarate there, instead of separating the two!
 
Ed Belote
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Chris Kott wrote:Ed, I would consider that kind of assessment reasoning by analogy, especially when we can look at the biochemical reactions in the brain to differing light levels and differing effects on the body from different parts of the light spectrum. I would say that, for the most part, there is reason behind the ancient way of seeing things, but that the phenomenon was described the way it was because there was no mental currency for that kind of information exchange.


-CK



Science is a wonderful thing!  It shows us the "nuts and bolts" of things.  Ancient people didn't possess this knowledge, but I believe in their time, they didnt feel the need. They had something far greater. They had wisdom.

Knowledge gave us the ability to split an atom, but look what we did with it. Not wise.

The world today, is seriously lacking in wisdom.  Knowledge is only a part of wisdom and will only give one a piece of the equation.  It takes experience and right action, along with knowledge to begin to understand wisdom, and even then, we realize that we don't know shit or beens about how things work.

Quantum physics or "spooky science", as Einstein called it over 100 years ago, is becoming more acceptable today, especially in the last 40 years.  I see it as a science that is beginning to shed light on spirituality, but there is much more to be understood.  And there is much that we will never understand.  That is where wisdom is.

This may sound hocus pocus to many, but without magic, we wouldn't have science.  
 
Ed Belote
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Chris, check out Bruce Lipton, Gregg Braden, and Joe Dispenza.  Lots of interesting books on science and spirituality.  Tons of youtube videos too.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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When I look at some past "science" and how we considere it now, I see our "nowaday science" and how it will be considered later....

We know so much close to nothing from this mental level that wisdom is indeed much better for happiness. Practical knowledge to live maybe now, but surely here. You could not moove native people without a catastrophe for them, and we have been turned into commodities that can be moved, splitting the social system of connection and safety.
 
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Being in nature does indeed "feel right" to me too. And the urban sounds I really find disturbing (along with the smells, garbage, and sometimes the large crowds of people can be overwhelming).
When I think why we feel so at home in nature.... it brings me back to the history of early humans the Biophilia hypothesis-- that our affinity to nature is innate!. Then there's the Savannah hypothesis that in biophylic design connects the earth tone colors of the interior of buildings that makes use relax and reduces our stress and makes us productive (going back to the golden brown colors of the Savahnnas in Africa). Perhaps it's also the oxygen and biochemicals that are cited in the forest bathing literature. I remember doing a training once and the leader as a way to introduce ourselves to the group asked us which habitat we feel most connected to: forest, desert, ocean, mountains, etc. This is another way to dig deeper into our connection with nature. Is it the vastness of the ocean, or the sounds of the forest, or the sight of the mountains? Noting what aspect of a habitat calls us fills in the picture of what attracts us to nature. And how do we express it back? Through writing, art, contemplative practices, or simply taking it all in by being present in the moment?
 
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You may be an empath. Do you feel others emotions? Some are overwhelmed by groups and cities. They recharge through solitude and quiet. Many people like to unload their heartfelt worries and fears on them, they are sought out as confidants. But for some empaths it is too much. They become reclusive as a defence mechanism. Empaths are on the opposite end of the spectrum from narcissists.
 
Andres Edwards
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Yes, I believe that I fall on the empath side of the scale. And I find nature is a great source to recharge and get grounded!
 
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I feel the most at home in a forest and I think the biggest reason for living where I do is that my home is surrounded by forest.  Every day I feel a craving to spend at least a small amount of time there and when too many days go by without taking a walk in the woods  to observe I start to feel dissatisfied with life/more stressed.  I've always wondered if that's because I grew up near a forest and spent a lot of my childhood going on adventures in the woods. Maybe I'm imprinted?  I just love trees.
 
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