by Denise Daub
For the last week I have been admiring the fall foliage. I live in the Northeast and right now it is at it’s peak. Everyday this past week I have been wanting to go for a walk before beginning my work day…never happened, too much to do. The weather this weekend promised to be beautiful, so again I said “I will walk this weekend”… Saturday came and went, nope, too much to do. “I will walk tomorrow for sure”.. Sunday having my coffee, checking my email and my “To Do List” and then… “I have …too much to do”. Does any of this sound familiar?
There will always be “too much to do” so I finally said no more.. and went for my walk on Sunday, a beautiful clear cool morning. I usually take my ipod on my walks/runs, but I realized that today wasn’t about exercise. Although, that would be a wonderful consequence, it wasn’t what this walk was about. I needed some time to just be. When I exercise with my music, it motivates, inspires me and helps me to visualize what I want. I didn’t want to think about the future and thankfully, I didn’t think about the past either. I didn’t think about what I was going to do with the rest of my day or about what my work week was going to be like. I just walked and admired my surroundings. Instead of taking my ipod I took my phone and took pictures. At the top of the hill, I always stop. Funny, there is a stop sign there and whether a car or a person, you need to stop to and take it all in. The view is spectacular anytime of the year, winter, spring, summer and especially the fall. These pictures really don’t do it justice.
I had a wonderful walk, I didn’t work up a sweat and that was OK, that’s for another day….today I was working on my mental health.
By Nancy S buck, PhD, RN
Walking is man’s [woman’s] best medicine — Hippocrates
Are you in a slump? Are you wanting, waiting, and craving spring to finally make some kind of an appearance? Do you feel restless or unhappy for no specific or apparent reason? Is today just a day where you are a little irritated, frustrated, or down in the mouth?
Then get outside and go for a walk. Go for a walk to improve your Mental Health & Happiness. If possible go for a walk outside and search for signs of spring. Whatever your weather today, go outside and walk, walk, walk.
Want to improve your Mental Health & Happiness even more? Start walking with a bounce in your step while swinging your arms. Act as if you’ve just heard wonderful and happy news. Now start walking with a joyful spring in your step and spirit. As you get into this kind of a positive rhythm you may discover that your mood begins to elevate. If you go for a longer walk continuing to raise your steps and vision, taking deeper and deeper breaths you will move into even greater peace, calm and maybe even joy.
If you are the kind of person who is unwilling to believe or trust this “woo-woo” stuff, there is some research to help persuade you. A recent study reported in The Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry found that people who practiced this kind of walking were more likely to remember the positive in life during these kinds of walks.
For your own good and the good of your Mental Health & Happiness, go outside and start walking!