How getting outside can quiet your inner critic

How getting outside can quiet your inner critic | Madefor

This summer, millions of Americans are leaving their homes after extended isolation and swarming to National Parks. Turns out, they’ve got the right idea, in seeking out “awe.”

Best-selling author, and one of the world’s leading experts on controlling the conscious mind, Ethan Kross, sat down with Madefor’s Co-founder, Pat Dossett, and Lead Scientific Advisor, Dr. Andrew Huberman for a recent Basecamp Conversation. He discussed the importance of finding a safe green space to go for a walk in or to interact in to help manage “chatter.”

“When we experience ‘chatter,’ it consumes our attention,” Ethan says. “Chatter” is the focus of Ethan’s recent best-selling book with the same name. It’s that inner voice, or introspection, which can sometimes turn into our biggest critic. Ethan says when we’re in nature, our attention naturally drifts away from our chatter and onto the things around us in our environment. “That gives us the opportunity to replenish our attention that we often need, to focus on the task at hand, or to later combat our chatter,” he says. So, when we venture out to green spaces, it helps quiet our “chatter.”

But, no need to pack up for a road trip just yet. You don’t have to venture far from home to reap the benefits of nature. In fact, the simple act of getting outdoors can have huge implications on your well-being. Getting into Nature is part of the Madefor Program. Why? Because we know that nature makes us happier and healthier. It replenishes our attention reserves and the positive effects are long-lasting.

Ethan says green spaces can also help by promoting the experience of “awe.” “Awe is the emotion we experience when we’re in the presence of something vast that we have trouble explaining,” he says. This could include a beautiful horizon, trees that have been here 300 years, or even something not nature-related, he says, sharing that he recently experienced awe watching the Mars Rover land.

“When we experience awe, what happens is we experience something called a shrinking of the self.  When we’re pondering something really vast and indescribable, our own concerns feel a whole lot smaller by comparison, and that makes it easier for us to manage our chatter.”

So, whether you decide to fight the crowds to see the awe-inspiring views at our National Parks, or just seek out a safe green space in your neighborhood, we want to encourage you to get into nature today!


You can see Ethan’s full clip, Seek Out Awe, right here, along with other Madefor resources on our Youtube Channel.