Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Hunter Walks in the Woods

April 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Coping, Ourselves

I am sure many of you have heard of studies indicating that time spent outdoors in a green environment can substantially reduce symptoms of ADHD. The various studies indicate that being outdoors alone doesn’t have the same impact and also that just being in green surroundings indoors doesn’t appear to have any affect.

Few of the studies seem to address why an improvement is seen. Logic would tell us that we are burning off energy playing in open spaces, instead of sitting in front of a TV or computer. Maybe, but I believe there is something more to it. I believe that the reduction of our ADHD symptoms is the result of what we see.

Some of the theories on ADHD point to a need for stimulation. That is why the Hunter-type tends to look for excitement. We tend to live our lives a little more recklessly than the Farmers. We need stimulation to allow our minds to focus. Sitting still and doing routine tasks can be torturous. Many of us take stimulants that would have others a shaking, nervous reck, but are calming to us.

I believe the keen eye of an individual with ADHD views something like the woods a little differently. While the Farmer would see trees, bushes, a path and a brook, the Hunter sees an entire world. The branches overhead form an intricate nebula, tracing interconnected paths across the sky. The millions of leaves shimmer in endless shades of greens, yellows, reds and oranges. The path at your feet undulates randomly, reacting only to wind, rain, time and the steps of those before you. The brook sparkles, dances and gurgles, coming from some unknown source and dissappearing on its way around the bend. This explosion of stimulation asks nothing of us except that we absorb its sights and sounds. We won’t be tested. There is no deadline for viewing it. There are no consequences for missing a detail. Endlessly stimulating, yet without pressure or judgement.

Since I was a young child, I have found my sanctuary in the woods. When I was having difficult times in my teens, a walk in the woods could put anything in perspective. These days, I spend a great deal of time at a desk, sitting in urban traffic, or stuck on delayed flights. I live in a rather developed urban/suburban area. Those walks in the woods are more valuable than ever. Their restorative effects are quite reliable.

Now, with my two pre-teen Hunters, they too are learning that a walk in the woods is part of a healthier, happier life in living with ADHD.

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6 Responses to “A Hunter Walks in the Woods”
  1. mia says:

    this explains my little girl! she lives in a world of magic, and looks for adventure in our back yard, which I’ve been slowly transforming from grass with a few trees to a wild place with pathways and possibilities in the hope that she can thrive here at home.

    she has a lot of anxiety over school, because school is so unpleasant for her. she is a “strong visual perceptual learning style” and with ADHD, the classroom experience is becoming a disaster.

  2. Chris G. says:

    Mia –

    Thanks for sharing. Your daughter sounds like she will be a great dreamer/creative talent. Especially with a Mom who is nurturing her gifts!

    We are sometimes like sheep. Society for generations has taught us that a traditional school environment is the path to our child’s success. Personally, I am starting to have my doubts. Success can be had on many terms. We are defining ours instead of marching to the music of “normal”.

    Some of the earlier posts deal with school anxiety. Click “Anxiety” in the tag cloud at right to find more.

    Thanks again!

    – Chris

  3. Chris, I love your blog! And thanks so much for visiting mine. This post describes my husband. He is so alert when we are out in nature. He sees things that I completely miss. My son is the same way and both do have ADHD traits. We get outside as often as we can and it makes everybody happier and healthier!


  4. Chris G. says:

    Susan –

    Thanks for the compliment! It means alot to me.

    Wandering around the woods is therapeutic salvation for my family. I am always looking towards when I can next get out walking or mountain biking.

    Thanks for checking out the site!

    – Chris

  5. John says:

    I have ADHD, and many of my family does as well, my family is filled with hunters, we are good at it. I don’t hunt much but as a hiker I love the woods, I am good at gathering blackberrys and other wild foods, I love being outside in the woods they are captivating and calming.

  6. Chris G. says:

    Just to clarify – I’m not a hunter either. My pen-name strictly refers to the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of the traditional hunter. Like you I am a hiker hunter.

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