“Camping took everything that my anxiety needed to thrive and threw it right in the campfire.”
Anxiety can come into your life for many different reasons, and while you might feel alone when dealing with it, 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety-related symptoms. While anxiety can be treated in a multitude of ways, I will tell you quick and simple ways of how something you already love doing as a nature lover, can relieve a problem that could be crippling to your daily life.
1. Technology is left behind:
Excessive worrying, agitation, restlessness, fatigue, and difficulty falling asleep are some of the more common symptoms of anxiety. The main issue is that a lot of things we consider part of our daily lives inadvertently work against us and only feed anxiety. Your mind must be taken away from what you’re worrying about and all the technology around us only make it worse at times. Going on social media, watching tv, reading the news, only further takes you away from that present moment that you so desperately need to get grounded. But when you’re camping all those things are thrown out the window because they either (one) are not needed, or (two) they don’t work and take away from the whole experience of camping.
2. Your body aligns with its natural circadian rhythm:
Your circadian rhythm (also known as your sleep/wake cycle or body clock) is a natural, internal system that's designed to regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over 24 hours. This complex timekeeper is controlled by an area of the brain that responds to light, which is why humans are most alert while the sun is shining and are ready to sleep when it's dark outside (sleep.org, n.d.).
There is no easier way for this to function properly than by being outside with natural light and sounds. Spending too much time indoors can throw your circadian rhythm off due to all the blue light radiating from electronic devices, artificial sounds, and other distractions that can keep your body awake. When you’re spending all day outside and it starts getting dark, your natural clock goes to work, and you have no distractions that keep you up longer than you should be.
That goes for unwanted thoughts, stress, and worry as well.
3. Sitting around a campfire is mindfulness without effort:
Focusing one’s awareness on the present moment is something we have been hearing more and more about lately.
As our society shifted and lives got busier, a lot of us naturally got pushed away from that state of mind. Whether you’re aware of how it's affecting you or not, it is happening all the time. We don’t have many moments in our days to just focus on being alive and enjoying life without much thought.
I’ve always been a firm believer that campfires are one of the best ways to be mindful.
Maybe it’s the reason why no matter how advanced we are becoming; people still gather around campfires until this very day. For me, camping took everything that anxiety needed to thrive and threw it right in the campfire. The peaceful crackling flames draw you in and put you in a meditative state without even trying. You can’t help it but just enjoy the moment you’re in while being hugged by the sights and smells radiating from that warm fire.
This my friends is a perfect distraction from that pesky anxiety knocking on your door.
4. Your daily routine is not there:
Routine is great! It helps us be structured and focused on our careers and daily lives, reach our goals, and maintain a sense of security. But when anxiety comes into play, suddenly that routine may give you a feeling of being stuck. As we do the same things every single day and stay on the same schedule anxiety can follow that schedule as well.
Camping is a great way to break the feeling of being stuck. You’re moving from that daily 10:45 a.m. conference call that you dread to all of a sudden losing track of time because you’re watching the birds fly over you from that hammock you’re in.
Simply put, you’re no longer on a schedule and most things are spontaneous or centered around what makes you feel great. This is a great way to give your mind that desperate break.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. We hope it either helps you or someone suffering from anxiety. Leave us a comment below!