It’s a well-established fact that exercise helps to enhance mood. When we exercise, the brain releases feel-good neurochemicals known as endorphins which are responsible for stimulating personal well-being.
However, people that are struggling with anxiety and depression often don’t feel like exercising. In fact, the mere thought of running or hitting the gym is so overwhelming, your fight or flight response is more likely to make you curl up in a ball on your sofa.
A growing body of evidence also shows that walking releases endorphins. And if you’re walking every day anyway, it might be a good idea to change your routine a little and immerse yourself in nature.
Ideally, heading for the hills will be most beneficial. But researchers have found that walking in green spaces can also have beneficial effects on sound mental health.
What this means is that regular walks in the park can help you to manage anxiety and depression.
Waking in Nature
Mental health experts say that a half-hour walk in nature reduces depression in 70% of depressed people and increases self-confidence in 90% of patients. Mother Nature appears to have healing qualities.
It’s common for people to go for a walk to “clear the head”. This is useful for practice for people with anxiety and depression that typically experience brain fog, confusion and negative self-talk that creates worry and higher sensations of anxiety.
Researchers have found that when people walk in nature, anxious thoughts and worry subside. Just being around the natural world can help to alleviate the effects of stress and anxiety.
When combined with the biological response of exercise, walking in nature seems to be an effective way to help people manage anxiety and depression.
And when you can manage the debilitating effects of neurological conditions, you are in a better place to heal yourself altogether – providing that you have the right mental health coaching.
Keeping Good Company
Sometimes, people with anxiety and depression just need somebody to talk with and get a different perspective. Common symptoms of anxiety and depression are negative self-talk, a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
As a result, you may typically feel overwhelmed with life and worry excessively. Taking a walk with a friend or a loved one that will listen to your concerns can help you to rationalize situations that you find troubling.
Keeping good company is also needed for emotional well-being. And it’s a lack of emotional well-being that can cause anxiety and depression. Boosting your confidence can help you to develop self-esteem.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, but struggling to find effective solutions (medication is not the answer), walking nature can be the positive first step you need to take on the path to recovery.
Set yourself walking goals like hitting the optimum number of steps a day – which according to the latest research is 7500. That’s achievable right?