What do you do to relax when things aren’t going your way? Do you turn to a good movie to escape reality or seek the comfort of soothing tunes to clear the mind? Do you roll into bed for a quick nap or take out your video games for a foray into a virtual world? While all those do work in different ways to resolve stress, walking has also emerged as an excellent pastime to put your nerves back in order. Just merely walking in the park can help you banish your worries in the following ways.
Walking Doubles Up as Excellent Meditation
In a Herriot-Watt University study, the results concluded that walking amongst greenery can shift your mind into a positively reflective state. The research encompassed a trio of different environments, and it came to light that walking in green settings resulted in the most mood improvement. What’s more, participants realized a decrease in frustration levels while experiencing an increase in sustained excitement.
The Outdoors Can Do You a Whole Lot of Emotional Good
What does going outside have to do with emotional well-being? Well, one study stated that both aspects intertwine like a vine and a branch. It establishes that the fresh air and beautiful backdrops cushion anxiety, chronic fatigue, and PTSD disorders. What’s more, your cognitive and memory abilities stand to benefit.
Walking Promotes the Production of “Happy” Hormones
Just take a walk to the store downtown and back and take note of how you feel. You’ll notice that you feel a lot more youthful and have an improved mood to go with it. That’s all thanks to the increased release of chemicals called endorphins and the “runner’s high” concept. More accurately, in this case, the “walker’s high” (if you will). Brisk walking triggers the production of the hormone, which boasts both pain and stress-relieving properties.
It Gets Rid of Feelings of Fatigue
With the sedentary lifestyles that define modern life, we often feel tired from sitting around for most of the day. According to a study by the University of Georgia, throw a walk with friends into your schedule and you’ll feel 65% less tired. Low-intensity exercises influence the central nervous system and improve psychological health. Social bonding activities such as this bolsters the secretion of oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”) which promotes well-being and stress reduction. Walking alone is good but walking in groups is even better.
The next time you feel like the world is caving in on you, consider walking around the park. That could be the only prescription you need. And be sure to bring your friends along.