Nature, and being outside, is one of the best therapies I know. If I find myself ruminating over something or inflating problems into catastrophes, I know it’s time for a walk.
Something about walking outside, breathing in fresh air and being surrounded by trees and greenery is refreshing. It gives you perspective, it allows you to be mindful and to let thoughts tumble through your head and just fly away.
I know for many people, exercise in some form is very helpful to relieve stress and get them out of their head. I find this too and I set myself a challenge to walk 2km everyday to see if it would improve my mood over the course of a week.
Luckily for me the weather was kind and I was able to get out everyday, recording my distance using my phone tracker. Some days I managed to go for nearly 3km and I did feel the difference. Usually, I got out at lunchtime and I’d come back to the office feeling refreshed and happier and, at weekends, I went further out to get into the nearby woodland or park.
It was an ideal distance as it took around 30 minutes to do, so perfect to fit in during a lunch break or after work, and long enough to unplug and let go of unhelpful thoughts. It also helped me to train my mind to focus on the helpful thoughts and to release any negative ones.
I try to get out for a walk everyday, even in the rain, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, because I know it helps me. Everyone has different strategies for managing emotions, stress and anxieties but I believe walking is one of those things that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. And the joy of it is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it – just a pair of shoes!
Oh and maybe a camera…