As you’ll discover in Brain Wash, getting back to nature is one of eight key ways we can work to break free of Disconnection Syndrome.
It just makes sense that nature exposure would be good for the brain and the body, right? Well, not only does it sound logical but the science says it is so. Austin and I were impressed to discover the volume of scientific literature supporting this benefits of nature exposure, and that’s why we’ve made it a critical part of our Brain Wash program.
In the first episode of Unhack Your Brain, we review some of this latest science on this, explore how time outside impacts the brain and decision making, and suggest ways to built nature exposure into your routine (regardless of climate).
One of the things about brainwash is, we got to look at so many topics and nature is one of those things that we kind of always knew was good for us. But what’s been the most surprising part about the research we did for brainwash for you, I think that I never realized how valuable nature exposure is to help reduce inflammation. What we talked about in brain wash is how inflammation is really crippling our ability as it relates to good decision making so what’s happening around here then is we’re lowering our inflammation. That’s a good thing absolutely and it seems like the way this might be happening is actually by reducing stress.
We know that chronic stress basically modern life leads to inflammation when it’s left unchecked and we go out into nature it de-stresses us, cortisol levels come down, inflammatory markers also come down and these are things that support good thinking.
But do you have to be in a park or live near a national park? How do you make that happen? That’s been something, that’s been very exciting for me to see because as much as I’d like to tell everyone to go out to some beautiful National Forest. It’s not available and unless you live really near some sort of amazing scenery it’s just not viable. But, the research has actually shown us for sure yeah that you can go out right outside of your house find a local park even an urban park and I think it’s such an important message for people who live in cities like us and truth be known right now we’re only about two blocks from a major street and there is a bluejay in the background so that’s offsetting the big street. And you know, the research shows that even just having a plant in your home brings nature into your home and has really some very positive benefits.
What was it like for you out of the Pacific Northwest? So when I was living out in Oregon for the last four years, the winters would occasionally get a little bit dismal and I love the Pacific Northwest but sometimes you just didn’t want to go outside.
So what we discovered through this research is, you can basically just bring a plant or even an essential oil from a plant inside your apartment and you’ll be benefitting
from all of these wonderful amazing health benefits that come from nature.
For me truth be known, I every morning with my wife we like to watch we have to bird feeders in the backyard it’s a thing and I love it. We know every bird that comes with our order that they come we know when they leave and it just lights my day up.
It’s really great what do as you know it, spend a lot of time out in nature and the point that we made in brainwash that we’re making moving forward is that this is yet another powerful tool for you to reduce inflammation and improve your ability to make really good decisions.
So, it seems like such a crazy thing that we’re spending 87 percent of our time indoors on another six percent of our time in enclosed vehicles and we’re obviously not getting into nature as much as we used to be.
That’s our challenge, I mean our challenge is then to get the word out that nature really matters in terms of your brain health, in terms of your general health and that statistic is huge. It means that by and large people have lost their connection and why is it? I mean why does that matter so much? Because you think maybe it’s better for us to be inside all the time we can be more productive on our computers and on our TVs and on our mobile phones.
So what do we lose? I submit that you’re not as productive when you’re doing all that because it’s bad for your brain. You know not just your cognitive function but I think more importantly your decision-making. I mean that’s one of the central themes in brain wash is that your decision-making is related to inflammation.
Higher levels of inflammation threaten your ability to make decisions that are important for your health, in your life. Being out in nature like we are right now is a real important way to lower that inflammation and other things and to build off of that this is the whole ide of attention restoration theory.
The concept is when you get out into nature it resets you so that you can maintain your focus on other things. It seems like when we’re always indoors, when we’re always in the city we lose focus and nature helps to reset us. So, it’s so important yeah and you know what Austin said a moment ago, asking about … What’s so bad about the 86% of our time spent indoors? It’s been said that you know when you doing one thing, you’re not doing something else if you’re indoors all the time not paying attention and then another 6 percent of your time in your car then you don’t even leave yourself time to get out in nature. Getting colse to nature is this is doing us a lot of good, this is reducing inflammation and ultimately helping us make better decisions. That’s the key you can benefit from nature from literally just getting outside.