As the weather begins to heat up here in the Midwest, I find myself outside more and more. When life seems to take its toll, focusing on yourself can be important. Whether it be surviving your first year far from home, losing a best friend, or not getting the internship you dreamed of, we all suffer a loss here and there.
While we all experience bad times, we can also all benefit from something simple: nature. Scientists are increasingly coming to the same conclusion: that going outside can lower stress levels and leaves us feeling more alive. In the United States, most Americans spend most of their time indoors and in vehicles, decreasing our connection with nature. Spending countless hours this past semester indoors studying, working, and being an active member in campus organizations, I decided to take this experiment for a spin.
For the past week, I have done everything I can to spend an extra hour of my time outside. To help keep track of how I felt before and after my time outside, I kept a journal on my overall outlook. From time laying in the sun (don’t forget the sunscreen!), a trip to the rose garden, weeding my mother’s garden, and walking the many trails of my local arboretum, I think science may be onto something. Not only has more time outside made me feel rejuvenated and happier, but it has led me to spread that happiness to my friends, family, and coworkers. A simple boost in positivity can go a long way. For such a simple experiment on happiness, spending more time outside has made a major difference in my overall mood and mentality in just one week!
If you decide to try my simple happiness experiment, show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.