This is a concept that I feel deeply. I have found that when I spend more time outside so many things come into balance within my body and my mind. Likewise when I spend too many days inside I feel an imbalance that can only be corrected by stepping out my door. I have found that even a few extra micro doses of outside time activates your primal senses which in turn helps you more easily move through uncomfortable times which therefore makes you stronger and faster. By living most of our lives indoors we are missing out on so much that our body, mind and soul need.
As Micah Mortali says in his book, Rewilding, referring to what is happening because we now spend so much time indoors ~ “Ecological boredom “Life-force deficit”. It’s a loss of sensory stimulation from the ecosystems and life-forms that our nervous systems evolved with. Addressing this loss is part of the impetus of human rewilding. Sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, being inside an office cut off from sunlight, fresh air and the sounds of nature we live an indoor life, a life of the house.”
We evolved for most of our human existence in touch with the land and the natural elements. We evolved living most or our lives outside. However, now we live most of our lives inside. *Americans spend on average only 7.6% of their time outside. This is really low. Our modern world continues to bring those numbers down as we spend more time on technology and in front of screens. As we spend more time indoors we are becoming less and less tolerant of being uncomfortable as well a dulling of our primal senses. This is super important to take note of because in sport and athletics your ability to move through the uncomfortable, to embrace it and, in many cases, to seek it out is key to progress and exceptional performance. By living more and more inside we are taking away our natural practice of embracing and making friends with the uncomfortable. We are instead becoming more accustomed to controlling everything about our environment which is dulling our senses and numbing our ability to thrive and make progress in body and mind.
For example, outside we do not have control over weather or temperature. Inside we have full control over our comfort level. Our inside environment is controllable and always adjusted for “ideal” comfort. Outside we work with what is given to us. As an athlete, we absolutely need that practice of embracing what is given to us in our environment. Out natural world gives that to us as it awakens primal sense and the primal knowing of moving through the uncomfortable and being very used to stepping out of our comfort zone. This is such an important part of living, feeling alive and continually practicing being out of our comfort zone. We all know that the magic happens outside of our comfort zone so to further allow yourself to experience your new possible in your athletic journey step outside in nature which will automatically help you step out of your comfort zone too.
It’s a primal part of us that is being lost as we spend more time indoors and therefore shorter and shorter times outside in the natural world. We need the outside world in order to awaken the primal sense of being uncomfortable.
I feel a direct correlation to outside time and feeling balanced and alive. If I spend too much time indoors I become imbalanced and feel a kind of flatness in my energy. Also, when I’m feeling depressed or down my first go to is to step outside no matter what the weather is and I experience an immediate re balance.
Action Steps aka note to self
If you are finding yourself struggling with getting out of your comfort zone create more outside time for yourself. More outside time in all kinds of weather will actually shift your being into embracing even the smallest steps outside of your comfort zone.
*reference from Statista on outside time stats