Stuck on a problem? Get outside!

David Graham March 5, 2024

Monthly Newsletter

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We are living in complicated times and more than ever, leaders are expected to make countless, critical decisions on any given day. Without the proper resources to manage these expectations, leaders can leave the organization in a state of chaos and confusion.

To navigate complexity as a leader, we need to be mentally clear on three things: purpose, vision, and being able to communicate with absolute clarity. When we’re in the busy whirl of the day-to-day, those can easily get lost, but when we’re able to step away, take a breath, and melt into our natural environment, something new can happen.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve been stuck on a problem, and then gone on a hike or a paddle and saw the solution appear out of nowhere. Over and over, I learn this lesson:

Time in nature brings clarity.

Last year, while working on my master’s research paper, I got to dive deep into the science behind how nature can support us as leaders. This year in our newsletter, I will be sharing some valuable insights that I learned through my research. One of the most compelling principals that I discovered is Stress Recovery Theory (SRT).

When we get stressed, our solution tends to be to wake up earlier, schedule more meetings or release the need for time off, however, we can become more productive when we clear our mind. SRT explains that nature elicits a calming response in our brain that leads to a reduction of stress. In fact, even just looking at a natural setting can give us this benefit. One study found that hospital patients with exposure to gardens and plants had positive changes to their blood pressure, muscle tension, and brain activity after only five minutes.

Nature has become one of my most effective tools for helping leaders find clarity in the complexity.

The next time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or struggling with productivity, take a few moments in nature to pause, catch your breath and explore your surroundings. It may feel counterintuitive at first, but you may be surprised how much clarity comes in that momentary mental vacation.

Adventurously yours,



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11 Scientific Reasons Why Being in Nature is Relaxing

That feeling of bliss that washes over you when you “get away from it all” isn’t just in your head. Spending time in the great outdoors has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels, help you find clarity, and rejuvenate your mind and body.


David Graham

Dave coaches good leaders who want to be great leaders and he works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams. For transformational experiences, he takes teams out of the boardroom and into nature.