With the summer holidays in full swing, many of us are indulging in our favourite out of school activities – sleeping, chilling, and hanging out with friends. Going swimming, watching the latest films and chatting together late into the night, being around our besties can be a lot of fun. But are we surrounding ourselves with the right people?
What does that even mean?
Whether we realise it or not, the people we choose to have around us have a big impact on the rest of our lives. Science has proven that by simply being in close proximity to positive people, our own emotional well being is improved. Not only do others influence our emotions, research has shown that our social networks (both real and digital) can have beneficial effects to our diet and exercise routines, thereby improving our overall health.
A good crowd can be hard to find
Just a few select people in your inner circle who have a positive approach to life can make all the difference A great example of this is in Okinawa, Japan where they have a long standing tradition of grouping 5 young people together to form a “moai.” These youngsters make a commitment to each other for life to offer emotional support, share life experience and even financial assistance when needed. Some moai’s have lasted over 90 years, and the tradition is still going strong. The science as a result makes for pretty amazing reading. Okinawa is regarded as a longevity hotspot, where people are proven to live longer and better lives than almost anyone in the world. The average life expectancy for a woman living there is 90 years old – that’s 18 years over the worldwide average and 9 years beyond the current UK average.
What does this have to do with Outdoor Education?
Outdoor activities offer young people the perfect opportunity to meet others who they may not normally choose to interact with. By giving them the chance to complete a task or challenge together, this creates a shared bond and can facilitate friendships that extend far beyond a single day or week. How strong this bond is requires one thing from all participants: courage. It can be very difficult for youngsters to show vulnerability – in an age where we are encouraged to “Live your best life” many feel the pressure of presenting the perfect image of themselves and their lifestyle. Outdoor challenges offer a chance to be imperfect – to be covered in mud, scared still at the end of a rope, frustrated at a problem solving game or soaked through in a boat with others who are in the same position. Vulnerability in a shared situation creates trust and it is this trust that ultimately leads to fulfilling relationships.
Get In Touch
WiseUp Team Building’s extensive range of activities and challenges are specially designed to encourage students of all ages to get to know each other as they work together to solve tasks. Please use our easy enquiry form to see what we can offer your learners, or give us a call on 01732 822753.