Time Outdoors = Higher Creativity?
Does more time spent outdoors mean a higher level of creativity? It seems like the answer might be "yes." Check out these 3 reasons:
1. Time Outdoors Can Help Restore Brain Circuits
Our minds are extremely influenced by the type of environment we place ourselves in. If you disconnect from the high-speed technology we are so used to, our brain circuits can readjust to focus more on creative aspects rather than keeping up with that environment. Even just a few hours spent fishing from a boat or shore can help your mind rest, relax and recharge.
One study followed 56 participants on a four-day hike where the use of laptops, cell phones, and other technology was strictly prohibited. Half the group completed a creativity test before their hike, and the other half took the test towards the end. As it turns out, those who took the test after four days of trekking scored 50% higher than those in the first group.
It's all about giving your brain a break from the daily grind of technology, not to mention stress. Earlier research, for instance, compared creativity levels among groups of people who strolled—without their cell phones—through either arboretums or cities. Those strolling in the arboretum enjoyed greater increases in creativity.
2. Time Outdoors Can Improve Attention and Focus
More time outdoors doing things like fishing, camping, etc. can help attention span and focus as well. There is research that shows that children who learn new outdoor skills do much better in academics, personal confidence, motivation, creativity, and more.
One 2005 study by the California Department of Education found that students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27 percent.
Children in outdoor education settings show improvement in self-esteem, problem solving and motivation to learn. Studies at the University of Illinois show that time in natural settings significantly reduces symptoms of attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder in children as young as age five.
So why not learn one more outdoor activity?
3. Time Spent Outdoors Can Lessen Mental Strain
When your stress levels lower while doing activities like fishing, boating and camping, you don't have to focus as much on your everyday problems. During this time, you will have more mental resources to lend towards productive thoughts that help to build on your creativity and imagination.
The constant distractions and stimulations of modern life are a threat. They sap our resources to do the fun thinking and cognition humans are capable of — things like creativity, or being kind and generous, along with our ability to feel good and be in a positive mood. Less stress leaves more room for your brain to be creative!
So, let's get outside!