The first man to walk the Amazon explains how living wild can reset your body and make you happier

Business Insider spoke with the first man to walk the length of the Amazon river and Discovery channel host, Ed Stafford, about how living away from civilisation can reset our bodies and make us happier.

Full transcript below:

Ed Stafford: I’ll go into an indigenous village, whether that would be in Africa or South America and you just see smiles and I say this at the risk of sounding patronising but there is definitely something in capitalism and in urbanisation that detracts from that interhuman interaction.

Kids being able to wander into each other’s houses without a care in the world.

Low crime rates, low cancer rates, all of those sorts of things. And I think we have to accept that we’re not going to reverse this.

There are so many humans on the planet that you have to have cities to an extent but it’s identifying the values and the reasons why some of those villages are almost idyllically happy because there aren’t all of these stresses and worries and diseases and crime and I think there’s a lot to learn.

I would love to spend more time in the indigenous villages.

It’s very obvious if you work the land you’re connected to the land. You understand the water cycle, you understand how things grow, you understand how to nourish something, how to pour love into something.

To have that sort of interaction in a city, crikey, it’s almost impossible to have that sort of interaction.

There was a study done on old people’s homes where they were given plants to look after and just having that responsibility to look after and grow a plant had a huge benefit in terms of decreasing the rate of senility. I couldn’t be more of an advocator of getting out in the world, into the hills, into the forest wherever you want to go to reconnect with nature and for me, it’s like a reset button, I think.

Everyone acknowledges we’re not going to spend all of our time naked in the woods, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend some time there in order to get yourself back on track and I think that’s important.

Produced by Jasper Pickering

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