How hiking can boost your creativity

2nd August 2019 by Jade Shields Share

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Hiking is one of the best ways to see the wonders of this world and boost your creativity!

It’s one of the best ways to get solitude, to feel free and achieve a real connection to nature. To see things that few people get to see because of the effort it takes to get there.

It’s a physical challenge but the rewards at the end make it all worth it. Studies have shown that going for a walk within nature reliably increases creative thinking.

READ: An Unplanned Adventure in the Mournes

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I can honestly say since I started hiking more regularly and it has now become part of my lifestyle, my creativity is most certainly at a new level. I have a real positive outlook on most things these days and I am constantly up for challenging myself and saying yes to new adventures even if they scare me!

There is a whole field of research (called ecopsychology), which shows that being out in nature is good for your health, more and more companies are setting up in a mission to restore peoples wellbeing through long hikes in the woods. Studies are being carried out which help us show others that this outdoor time is so important!

Hiking successfully really isn’t about being the most fit-looking person on the trail. It isn’t about being the youngest, either. Hiking is about endurance, and much of endurance is mental!

From a young age, we were taught to appreciate Mother Nature. We listened to the different calls of the birds, we clambered over rocks in search of sticklebacks and scoured beaches for the most complete shells to take home. As a child, I was very inquisitive when it came to nature, thankfully we were taught that spiders are not scary, my dad has a real Steve Backshall view on the outdoors!

We were always outdoors as children so as an adult I have always used the outdoors as a way to get away from the worries or stresses of everyday life and to fuel my creativity!

Throughout my time living in Liverpool whilst studying a BA Hons in Graphic Design and Illustration, the fuel for my work was inspired by a real love or more (really missing home); green fields, amazing beaches and good fresh air! My final project included a silk scarf collection which featured picked and pressed flowers from my favourite places.

Since graduating 4 years ago my work still includes local landscapes and I now keep a small pocket journal which includes drawings and writing about my favourite places or objects I find along the way.

Here are some tips for you to boost your creativity:

  • Keep a pocket journal in your backpack, you can jot down ideas quickly whilst on the trail.
  • Take a break – once you have reached that amazing view you climbed so hard to reach, stop and try sketching the view instead of photographing it.
  • Nature Increases Brain Function – If you have a job interview or exam instead of stressing out, get out and walk, after you can get back into revising or preparing with a fresh and clear mind.
  • Learn about Fauna & Flora- most of the wildflowers I photograph end up as illustrations or patterns.

So if your task requires creative thought, then take that leisurely, meandering and self-generated walk!

You can follow Jade on Instagram.


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