In the last months of bike commuting I have found that my life feels more enriched. This week, during my bike to work time (about 45 total a day), I have been identifying what a more enriched life is and what it means to me. The benefits of bike commuting are well documented elsewhere, but here is a look at the psychological growth and 6 benefits I have identified.
I Have Found an Increase in Self – Efficacy Since Bike Commuting.
From researching electric bikes, purchasing, assembling the bike, biking to work in different weather, maintaining my bike, shopping on my bike , and creating new habits I have found a belief in my own ability to accomplish tasks. In sports psychology, this term is called self-efficacy. It is the idea that through one manageable challenge, one feels empowered and confident to take on another!
I Literally, Am Taking Time to Smell the Flowers.
During my bike to work I purposely build in 10 minutes a day of “nature time”. We all crave more time in the outdoors, and this is a small new habit that is worth 10 minutes to me! I leave a few minutes extra a day to watch the river, admire the wildflowers, and find small moments of gratitude into each bike commute.
I Have Developed Curiosity.
Little experiences I have had problem solving on my bike has inspired curiosity. I feel like we loose curiosity throughout adulthood – or at least I have. Bike commuting has brought that back to me – I am curious about bike commuting in other weather seasons, curious about environmental issues, activities going on in my community and more.
Inspiration to Try Other New Things.
I have a lot of hobbies as is, but I am inspired to try those activities through fresh eyes . I think bike commuting re-assured me its ok to try something and fail or be successful at it – after-all, I did not really know what I was getting into when I start “When Life Gives You Bike”. It turns out I love it! Bike commuting has inspired me to change up my mountain bike goals this summer, and look more closely at life locally instead of planning ventures farther away.
Bike Commuting Challenges Me to Look at Goals I Have Put on the Back Burner.
Bike commuting is a tangible activity that reminds me you have to take action on your goals. Motivation does not come from no where, action has to take place then you find motivation to continue. I have some career goals in the aquatic field I have been lackadaisical about – bike commuting has sparked an energy in me to build working to that goal regularly.
Bike Commuting Aligns With My Many of My Core Values.
Through bike commuting I have not only had time while biking to think about core values and identify them, but I also feel like I am interacting daily with them! I am much more intentional with my environmental core value everyday . I am forced to assess where my money and time goes. Even spending time journaling on this blog feels like a healthy and worthwhile activity.
Final Notes on Finding a More Enriched Life.
For many people finding enrichment requires a religious avenue – which I validate, but I find the enrichment with bike commuting to be action based. I do think there is likely a spiritual or religious, family, and community (volunteerism) component of an enriched life that is not directly tied to bike commuting. I do think the time spent bike commuting might offer up the mental space to then take on those religious/family/community components. I will link to an article I found on enrichment: 7 Ways Meaningful Ways to Enrich Your Life. Note – the 7 ways align really well with bike commuting!
In what ways do you enrich your life? Is this something you have considered before? I would love to connect with you if you are a new bike commuter. Please comment your thoughts below.
Happy Biking – Emily