Do you think the outdoors inspires creativity?
For most creatives, working in a quiet cafe seems like the best work environment. The smell of freshly brewed coffee from some of the finest beans works like a drug. Meanwhile, the appealing coffee art makes for a perfect Instagram post, along with a slice of the striking red velvet cake. While cafes offer a great escape from dull 9-5 work environment, is it the best source for creative inspiration? As creatives ourselves, we beg to differ. The outdoors are our best ingredient for success. So here’s five reasons how the outdoors inspires creativity.
1. Being outdoors allows you to gather your thoughts
Being outdoors, be it going for a hike, a run or simply kayaking in a river offers massive inspiration. Taking a breath of fresh air is an essential part of our creative process. It enables us to take in new surroundings which helps us to think with a clear head.
Furthermore, actually being in the outdoors is a lot better than admiring that high resolution camping under the stars screensaver of yours. The outdoors inspires creativity because for a moment, it’s all about you. There are no emails, calls, annoying clients or demanding bosses. It’s all about you and your thoughts.
2. The outdoors inspires creativity with its surroundings
Previously, we mentioned about for a hike, a run or simply kayaking in a river. All these activities are a great way to get your body going. It’s a welcomed effort after spending an eternity on the same chair and view. Being in the outdoors and doing a physical activity puts your body and mind in good shape.
Plus, the beautiful views of your surroundings also serve as an opportunity for work inspiration. That spot on the hill may be a fantastic landscape portrait for outdoor photographers. The intertwined vines of a rainforest could perhaps be a great illustration piece. Whatever the brief may be, the outdoors inspires creativity. All that’s needed is for you to step outside.
3. Staying outdoors reduces stress
There’s something about the outdoors, isn’t it? Most of us can relate over a fond memory of being one with nature. This can be anything from a happy childhood memory of going fishing with dad or even a more recent camping trip with the mates. For city kids, don’t worry. There’s glamping to ensure you’re not excluded from this experience.
Above all, these memories are often your happy place. It makes you feel calm and relaxed. The sounds of birds chirping, the cascading waterfall and the trickle of a river often is music to your ears. It’s a guaranteed stress reliever, which once again shows how the outdoors inspires creativity.
4. Break free from boring routines
Eat, sleep, work, repeat. Recite this mantra and you’d probably burnout faster than a candle. Everyone needs rest at some point. And we’re huge fans of the outdoors when it comes to taking a break. Doing the same thing all year round may seem like it yields a higher productivity. But that’s not the case for everyone.
Most of us need a break. We need to take a step back and unwind. We need to escape from the rigid routine that dictates our lives for the most part. And the outdoors does just that. The outdoors inspires creativity by allowing us to take a step away from our workstations and to try a different activity. In doing so, it teaches us to push our creative boundaries.
5. The benefits of being outdoors are scientifically proven
A quick Google search shows us the abundance of research and study being carried out on the effects of nature and mental health. And unsurprisingly, it all points to the same conclusion. Nature does help creativity. The research carried out by David L. Strayer from the University of Utah’s Department of Psychology remains one of the most widely discussed papers. His findings proved that a team of backpackers were 50 percent more creative after spending four days on the trail.
If modern science fails to convince you, then Japan’s forest bathing treatment might do the trick. Developed in 1980, the Shirin-yoku forest therapy has already proven to reduce stress, improve mood, focus and energy. Dubbed the “medicine of simply being in the forest”, this is yet another fine example of how nature improves creativity.
If you’re looking for more creative inspiration, do read up on why learning a new language makes you more creative. Meanwhile, for those aspiring to be digital nomads, find out why every creative should consider living abroad.