Find out how following the “Less inside. More outside” principle can help you be happier – and stay healthier.
If you think it’s pretty obvious how practicing the simple concept “Less inside. More outside.” could make you happier and healthier… that’s great! Then please just share this post or leave a comment – and then head on outside and enjoy!
However, if you’d like to know more about our new Happier Place slogan, read on. May our list of reasons how “Less inside. More outside.” makes us happier and healthier, spark ideas of your own and motivate and remind you to get happier, too!
What does “Less inside. More outside.” mean?
Yes, (mainly) we do mean: spend more of your free time outdoors and less of it indoors.
Why use the word “outside” instead of “outdoors”? First of, the simpler, the better – when it comes to happier-making slogans to stick. It’s also a nod to the inspiring #OptOutside movement. Last but not least, this inside/outside principle can apply to more than just the indoors/outdoors. See “What else…” section below.
How does less inside, more outside make you happier?
Getting outside allows you to take a break from the pressures, worries, tasks, your responsibilities, and "bad news". That break obviously makes you happier. But it’s also great for your physical health. Experiencing less stress, is good for our blood pressure and heart rate – and even for a healthy body weight! Stress causes the body to be in flight-or-fight mode, which sends blood to the muscles instead of the digestive system. Simply taking a break outside and relaxing can help the body digest food and lose weight.
Being outside in the fresh air means more oxygen and less pollution, e.g., carbon dioxide and nitrogen. More oxygen leads to cleaner lungs, improved brain function, slowed heart rate and lowered blood pressure (since the heart doesn’t have to pump so hard to get oxygen everywhere). More available oxygen also helps the cells, which improves healing.
Outside is where the sunshine is. Sunshine causes the body to produce more Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for the immune system, teeth and bones, brain function, and actually happiness. Because lack of sunlight has been linked to a drop in serotonin levels, which affects mood, it’s thought to be one of the causes of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. So it’s especially important during the winter to be less inside, and more outside and catch some sunshine!
Walking away from that desk chair or couch and physically moving around outside is great for your mind and body on many levels. Stretch, get that blood flowing, loosen those tensions, work those muscles… feel fitter, feel happier.
Then there are those special outdoor places that can provide us with additional benefits: the woods and the incredible health rewards of “forest bathing” and the possibly surprising physical and mental benefits of “chasing waterfalls” and being near moving water. (We plan full articles on these outdoor-location-specific benefits soon.)
The scale and cycles seen in nature bring comfort. The sheer size and longevity of mountains, forests, rivers, trees, the sky itself can help us realize that our worries are small and temporary and that there’s always a way. Observing the various cycles of nature (e.g. daily sunset and sunrise, the seasonal changes in flowers and trees, the life cycles of butterflies and birds) remind us that change and growth is inevitable and that nothing bad lasts forever. Tomorrow the sun will rise again!
The joy and distraction of nature make us happier. Can we just take a moment and just smell the roses, take in how the beauty and harmony in nature makes us feel good? How about mind-clearing distraction of watching birds flutter about and find food?
Because “Less inside. More outside.” doesn’t necessarily mean you being alone in the great outdoors, one of the huge benefits of going outside is feeling connected to other people, which is a big aspect of happiness. Especially, during the last 1 1/2 years of living through the covid pandemic, most of us have spent so much more time inside, at home, alone. This has led many people to loneliness and depression. Simply getting outdoors and seeing other people can help us feel less isolated, lonely, and hopeless.
What else can “Less inside. More outside.” spark?
One of the reasons we zeroed in on the slogan “Less inside. More outside” instead of “Less indoors. More outdoors” is because it allows much more room for interpretation – your interpretation. We at Happier Place don’t want to tell you what to do and how to get happier – we want to inspire and motivate you to find your way to get and be happier.
Each of our Happier Place slogans is always just a suggestion, a reminder, a spark...
So we don’t need to take that slogan so literal. It really just suggests to do a little less of one restricting thing and open yourself up and remind yourself to do something that makes you happier.
Maybe it can mean: less isolation, more connection.
Or being less in ones’s head (overthinking) and being more active just doing something.
Some people think: less inside, more outside could embrace the idea of less brains, more brawn or beauty.
A favorite interpretation: less physically hunched over with the body turned towards the inside – and focusing the body more towards the outside into a sun salutation or superwoman stance! Go ahead, try it. See how that makes you feel…
Any ideas of what else the slogan could mean to you?
Let’s inspire each other!
Tell us about how following the “less inside. more outside.” idea has benefitted you. What do those words mean to you? Do you have any other slogans that remind or motivate you to do something that makes you happier or healthier?
Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share…
Photos by Luci Westphal.