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Do you find the outdoors calming?
I feel less anxious outdoors 86%  86%  [ 43 ]
I feel less anxious indoors 6%  6%  [ 3 ]
I feel about the same indoors and outdoors 8%  8%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 50

Fern
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10 Feb 2019, 1:49 pm

I always feel rather calm when spending time outside, but I realize that a lot of people don't feel the same way. As a kid, I think I associated being outside with being away from a lot of common social stresses in my life that generally occurred between four walls. Maybe that's why I enjoy getting out of that situation so much. What are your feelings on the matter? Do you like being outside?


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10 Feb 2019, 3:12 pm

Definitely, if there is not a lot of traffic or people. My mind works very differently in a silent room compared to silent outdoor spaces. It's like the vastness of outdoor spaces puts negative thoughts into their own perspective where they become relatively insignificant.



Piobaire
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10 Feb 2019, 3:57 pm

I love being outdoors, in all seasons and all sorts of terrain. I find it not only calming, but regenerative. It's not just my subjective experience, either. The Japanese have studied the therapeutic aspects of spending time in nature, finding that trees, especially conifers, release phytoncides which boost immune system functioning. with an increase in the count of the body's NK cells, and decrease both blood pressure and stress, with measurable decreases in cortisol. They've found their research to be sufficiently compelling to develop spending time in nature into a therapeutic practice called Shirin yoku; "forest bathing". I like to practice it in complete ("noble") silence, incorporating a good deal of Thich Nhat Hanh's practice of "kinh hanh"; walking meditation.
It really does go a long way to helping me to remain sane in an insane world. I highly recommend it.



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10 Feb 2019, 4:26 pm

I like being outdoors, especially when I am getting exercise on the tennis court. I have fun and have a sense of accomplishment as my skills improve. I also like the social contact opportunities being out gives me.



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10 Feb 2019, 5:52 pm

That depends entirely on the situation. I found it dreadfully boring when I was moved to a farm at age 11. If I went outdoors today, I would be worried about frostbite. However, there are definitely times when I prefer a rural building to an urban one. Outdoors in a city does not do much for me, unless I know the place very well.



SweetOnSylvia
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10 Feb 2019, 8:58 pm

I have always loved sitting in the grass, in feeling the blades, in the cool, spongey liveliness or the crunchy yellow of dying grass... I love laying back and feeling the grass on my skin... I, however, sometimes feel guilty stepping on the grass... That, however, is one of my only anxieties about being outside... I do not like it when it is too cold or if I am near something that could get my backpack or my books wet, but I love the ocean and the forest-- when I would "run away" when I was a teenager, I would often run down the street into the woods across the street from the houses and often being in nature would calm my meltdown... :)...


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10 Feb 2019, 9:33 pm

But it depends on the outdoors I'm in. I'm not sure how everyone in new Jersey isn't dead, and I don't last more than like five min in Denver without a meltdown.

but real outdoors, away from assaulting smells and other information, is amazing and makes me want to be a hermit.


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lostonearth35
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10 Feb 2019, 10:05 pm

I would not feel less anxious if I was outdoors because it's 11 PM and we're having apocalyptic freezing weather right now.



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10 Feb 2019, 10:19 pm

If outdoors means in nature rather than urban, then I feel at ease outside as long as the temp is comfortable and I have my sunglasses if it's bright out.

Urban outdoors? No. I wear my earplugs always to prevent loud car sounds, honking, loud vehicles, etc.


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11 Feb 2019, 4:12 am

Depends on where I am. For me, a predictable enviroment is the most calming, no matter if I'm in- or outdoors. By predictable I mean either a space that is completely under my control, which is pretty much only my apartment at the moment (I live alone) or a space where I know what will happen and what the rules are. If I had to leave my apartment for a walk outside, the most calming time for that are sunday mornings since there aren't much people out and those that are are usually just going to the church, meaning they're mostly old people (around here anyway.) I don't need to worry about talking to them; if they do say something it tends to be something about the weather and that's the kind of small talk I can actually handle by now... I think. If I spend time at my parents' place, as in a few days instead of few hours, I usually feel calmer taking a walk outside than inside the house. Inside the house there are usually others too, it's their space and while I technically know the rules, they seem to be rather flexible and all so I can't count on knowing what will happen for sure. However, my parents live in the countryside, at a farm at the edge of a very small town no less, so there aren't really many people around. That means that when I go out for a walk, I rarely have to worry about running in to other people and if I do, there's a huge chance it's someone I know. I also know the area so well that I don't need to really watch or think where I'm going (except this time of the year since there's ice everywhere and I'd rather not slip and break my bones), which is relaxing. All I really have to be careful about over there are wild animals and the neighbor's dog which sometimes manages to sneak off.

I suppose the simple way to put this would be "controlled enviroment = controlled anxiety?" :D



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11 Feb 2019, 4:38 am

Nature areas? Absolutely.

We have some good close in wooded nature areas in the urban/suburban area in which I live. So you can hike, fish, or birdwatch within a few minutes drive.

Manmade environments, like shopping malls, are designed to bludgeon your senses. So if youre an autistic prone to sensory overload its good to go on into the woods- where the flora and fauna are "designed" to blend in, and youre forced to use your senses (like your stone age ancestors) to see things like distinguish an osprey from a turkey buzzard, in the distant sky, or noticed how a stream has been re engineered by beavers..



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11 Feb 2019, 5:49 am

I would often take a walk or go on a run when I felt anxious, and just being outside in the fresh air lifted a little weight. I love going into the forest, there is something beautiful in the collection of mushrooms, moss and tall trees and the smell of earth and leaves.



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11 Feb 2019, 6:18 am

I like taking walks when the weather is nice but I don't really like being outside otherwise. All my interests are inside things. I also have allergies & am sensitive to weather conditions like heat, cold, & humidity partly cuz of my skin eczema. This said being outside doesn't really make me anxious unless I'm in certain situations like an outdoors concert with LOTS of people would make me anxious.


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Last edited by nick007 on 11 Feb 2019, 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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11 Feb 2019, 6:19 am

This topic is really struggling with the difference between urban, rural, and scenic in a wide range of weather on one hand, and a noisy apartment vs a controlled space. I notice that nobody goes out to enjoy walking in cropland.

I once did some technical work inside a greenhouse, and it was by far the most pleasant indoor experience I've had. Similarly, my best room was about 1/3 windows. I think that sunlight is healthful, which is calming. Dr. John Ott experimented with raising some lab rats under only artificial light, and they looked awful. Outdoors is also conducive to exercise, which is nature's anti-depressant. The air is often better outside, especially after a thunderstorm. There is more free stuff, more variety, and more possibility outside. You can see for miles, move substantially through space, and even see stars.

Indoors, I feel more secure and able to pursue my own interests, which is calming in another way. For sleeping, inside is far better. Routine jobs like cooking also go better in a controlled space without wind and wildlife.



Fern
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12 Feb 2019, 7:35 am

Dear_one wrote:
This topic is really struggling with the difference between urban, rural, and scenic in a wide range of weather on one hand, and a noisy apartment vs a controlled space. I notice that nobody goes out to enjoy walking in cropland.


It's true, isn't it? There is a lot of variation in terms of what "outdoors" even means. A couple of years ago I remember there was a social media nature photography challenge. I was amazed at how many people went out and found a field of corn or a manicured lawn or perfect row of trees to photograph. I mean, in a sense these are all nature, but in another sense, none of them are.

na·ture
/ˈnāCHər/
noun
1.
the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.

What is a human creation? Is it that which humans make outright from raw materials or can it be living things that we shape meticulously? There is no one right answer I think.

With this in mind, I am leaving the poll as-is. I am actually fond of most types of outdoors, urban, rural, or bushwacking a new way up a mountain.


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