Santa Barbara, CA (PRWEB) May 07, 2012
In this Digital Age, information is never far from our fingertips. Indeed, most of us are constantly inundated by the effects of smart phones, computers, and cellular devices.
According to a new study from the University of Kansas, however, the effects of these gadgets are not always positive. In fact, this constant barrage of information can actually rob us of our creative inspiration, the study finds; something as simple as a nature hike can leave us refreshed and rejuvenated, however. This new study has garnered the affirmation of many notable outdoor enthusiasts, among them Santa Barbara’s Sean Alisea.
Indeed, as a proponent both of hiking and of calming meditation techniques, Sean Alisea finds much to praise in the new report. “The pressure, pace and noise of modern life creates in us a constant struggle against our primitive fight-or-flight response,” Alisea says in a press statement. “Aside from meditation, which I also highly recommend, I believe that the primary way to re-connect with one's spirit is to commune with nature. Hiking, besides keeping you extremely fit, affords you the space and solitude you need to feel at peace with your world.”
That hiking offers many physical benefits is hardly a surprise, but the new University of Kansas study affirms that, as Sean Alisea notes, the benefits are also spiritual and psychological. In fact, the report’s central finding is that a few days in the wilderness, surrounded by nature but away from the pull of the cell phone, can increase creativity by as much as 50%.
The research is presented in the current edition of Backpacker magazine, and suggests that the effects of hiking on the human body and mind are profound, and almost unclassifiable. Hiking and spending time in nature, the report says, are ultimately beneficial for “offering refuge from the cacophony of all of this information that simulates alarms, warnings and emergencies.”
Expanding on this point, the report notes that constantly being surrounded by technology makes one feel constantly surrounded by threats or stress-inducing factors. This ultimately saps the human mind of its ability to have fun or think creatively.
Spending several days in nature, apart from digital technology, is ideal, the report says. Indeed, the creative spark offered by a nature hike “peaks after about three days of really getting away, turning off the [cell phone], not hauling the iPad and not looking for Internet coverage,” the study suggests. An extended period of time, alone in nature, is said to offer numerous positive effects, both for the human body and for the mind.
Sean Alisea is an outspoken advocate for outdoor fun and adventure, as well as for meditation. He lives and works in Santa Barbara, California, and is a tutor at the Santa Barbara School of Squash, an educational outreach program aimed at urban youth. Alisea is also an avid outdoor recreation enthusiast, and is vocal in his love for hiking, backpacking, and scuba diving. His passion is for sharing his love of these activities with others.