The definition of a box is a container with a flat bottom and sides.
In our modern world, we are constantly living in various boxes, they come in different shapes and sizes, and we move between them at times, but we are in them more than not. How much time do you spend in a box? You most likely wake up in one, drive to work in one, do your work in one, before returning to the first without experiencing any outside time other than walking to your car. The modern environment is predictable and doesn’t challenge the body to adapt; we move not only between similar spaces but often into the same position of sitting. The air we breathe can become stagnant, and the artificial lights change our circadian rhythm disrupting sleep.
Nature is not constructed this way; it isn’t flat, it isn’t regular and it is constantly changing. The ground changes in texture, has inclines, declines and cambers that you have to adapt to as you walk. Obstacles may get in the way that need negotiating so that your body has to move in varied and sometimes challenging ways. There is a calming effect being in nature, walking in the woods, a climb to the top of a mountain, a quiet sit on the beach looking to the horizon, all take us away from our boxes, getting fresh air in our lungs, sunshine on our skin and allowing the mind to disconnect from the worries of the modern world.
We evolved in nature; your body is capable of much more than you think if you give it the opportunity. Yes, our boxes keep us safe, warm and secure, but to what detriment? We all know we should move more, get fresh air and sunlight but our boxes restrict us from this and, with the events of the last couple of years, we have been in them more than ever, this has had negative effects on many peoples mental and physical health.
What can you do?
Get outside as often as you can in natural surroundings. If the woods or beach aren’t close, your local park or even just your back garden can help. Be mindful of how it makes you feel, try and forget about work, homelife and stresses and take a moment to appreciate where you are, feel the cool breeze and warmth of the sun, smell the flowers and look to the distance. If you are able to, hang from a tree branch, balance on a log, challenge your body in ways you can’t in your boxes. If the terrain is appropriate, take off your shoes, we have lost connection with the ground, and although it can be uncomfortable at first, your feet will soon learn to adapt, and you’ll be amazed by the feedback and sensations you get through your feet when they are not cocooned in shoes on purely flat surfaces.
Go on, open the door and step out of your box.