"WHAT IS LIFE?!?" This was my daughter's continual exclamation as we took in the jaw-dropping vistas of Patagonia last week. Yes, you read that right! Patagonia is not just the name of an outdoor wear company. It's a real place in southern Argentina! Patagonia is characterized by the breath-taking Andes mountains, glorious rivers, and icy glaciers. My oldest daughter and I found ourselves in this unlikely place when we traveled to see my youngest daughter who is studying abroad. We decided to see a part of the country she hadn't seen yet. We had no idea what we were in for.
At every turn, my daughters and I were smiling, hugging each other, holding hands, laughing. But it wasn't just the glacier and mountains that were making us feel so exhilarated. I think being outside period was giving us a natural high. Studies have confirmed what we have all experienced when spending time outdoors.
Your mood lifts. The fresh air reinvigorates you from head to toe. Your blood pressure drops. It clears your mind. It's like a physical, emotional and spiritual reboot.
You may already know all of this intellectually, but still find it's hard to put it into practice. Find a friend to help you detach from the computer or the t.v. Make plans with a co-worker to take a walk at lunch as a break from that endless project. Or step outside for an after-dinner walk with your spouse before you settle onto the couch for your favorite show.
Do what you have to do to get outside just a little more often. Don't stay bottled up inside, like a firefly in a mason jar! Break out! Trust me, you don't have to travel to Patagonia to get this kind of buzz.