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The Glory of Geocaching

Geocaching is a relatively new and engaging pastime and has numerous physical, social and mental benefits. It is an enjoyable challenge that is great for those wishing to improve their wellbeing and spend more time outdoors. It encourages participants to engage with the natural and manmade environment in a new way, exploring new places while solving navigational puzzles that help to sharpen our sharpening your brain. Read on to discover more of the benefits of geocaching.

Boost your immunity

Geocaching is a wonderful way to boost your immune system by spending time outdoors, which is known to promote your immune system. This includes the production of vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. While outside, you can also practise a Japanese practice called ’Shirin yoku’ or forest bathing, a process in which you allow your body to immerse itself in nature.

Next time you are out enjoying geocaching, remember you are also benefiting your mental and physical health.

Relieve stress

Another positive benefit of the hobby is that it can also lower our cortisol levels while we are out in green spaces engaging with nature and this can help us to relax and promote calm and tranquillity, improving our well being. Even by spending a short time in a park or a forest you are promoting calm and wellbeing and helping to promote calmness and peace of mind.

Spark your creativity

Another of the perks of indulging in this hobby is that the challenge of finding cleverly hidden geocaches is great for sparking your creative thinking, and this can translate into many other areas of our lives such as improving your problem-solving abilities and boosting your logical skills, making you more versatile and better able to deal with all kinds of challenges.

Improve your memory

Our memory also receives a much-needed work out while we are geocaching as it helps strengthen our cognitive function, keeping your brain sharp. This benefits you in the short and long term and makes you less likely to develop conditions associated with ageing such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Improve your mental health

One of the strengths of geocaching is how it can benefit us mentally by helping us to train our brains cognitively, and by working them out as often as possible. Even when getting stuck on a puzzle that is difficult to solve is beneficial, boosting your brainpower and keeping you sharp and alert. Such activities also help to take your attention away from stress factors and instead focus your mind on positive pursuits, giving you an escape from things which tend to impact your mental health.

Physical exercise

Geocaching gets you outside and active. If things like running just don’t do it for you, geocaching is one way to motivate yourself to exercise. Finding the cache is a great reward for your efforts and an incentive that can spur you on, especially during days that may be less than ideal both weather and motivation wise. It is a great way to keep in shape physically, which can help to reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease and help boost physical condition.

Enjoy Eustress

Eustress is a type of positive stress that we experience when we are engaging in a hobby when we are doing something that we find fun. The term was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, and is formed from a combination of the Greek prefix eu- meaning “good”, and stress, literally meaning “good stress”.This is a feeling you can experience while geocaching that is great for keeping us mentally happy. This sense of thrill is great for our wellbeing.

Reduce depression

Geocaching can help us lower feelings of depression and anxiety, particularly when done as a shared activity. Engaging with others in doing the activity can help you to keep mentally well by strengthening your social bonds with others, helping to reduce feelings of isolation through participation in a community. This can make you feel happier and more connected to those around you.

Lara Edwards
Community Manager and Editor of Motiv8.Me Woman. A photographer, radio presenter, poet and spoken word performer, Lara recently graduated from university with a joint honours in History & Creative Writing.

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