Walking as a natural stress reliever: the beneficial effect of nature

Walking as a natural stress reliever: the beneficial effect of nature

Much research has been done into the beneficial effects of nature on our mental health. One of the first studies of the effect of greenery around us appeared in the 1980s. The results show that the more greenery we have around us, the fewer psychological complaints we experience. A lot of studies show that when people have more greenery within a radius of one kilometer from their home, disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, asthma, and heart disease occur less.

Healing effect of nature

Science journalist Mark Mieras conducted research for the IVN (Institute for Nature Education and Sustainability) into the effect of nature on the brain. For example, a natural environment would form a refuge for an overburdened mind, because trees and plants have little stimulation and only evoke a mild fascination.

This ensures that inner peace is created so that a busy head can recover. For example, an experiment on focused attention (the brain’s ability to focus on one activity over an extended period of time) showed that subjects who were allowed to walk for 50 minutes through nature (after their focused attention had been severely tested) ), we’re able to continue these challenging tasks considerably better afterward than the group that took the same walk through a busy city.

To walk

Walking as a natural stress reliever: the beneficial effect of nature

Even a short walk or a view of a green environment would help to restore cognitive functions and improve social functioning. Visiting nature regularly can help you to relax your body and brain. Because let’s face it, have you ever come back stressed from a walk in the forest or on the beach? Precisely. Nature is a natural way to lower stress and with it the stress hormone cortisol. Don’t think too hard, because research shows that even a short walk of ten minutes can make a lot of difference to your mood and (mental) health.

Two walking meditations by Thich Nhat Hanh

Fresh air and walking are a true meditation – especially if you are not lost in your thoughts. But how do you do that? In  Walking, Mindfulness for Every Step, Zen master, and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has collected exercises to help you stop thinking all the time. The following exercises can help you turn off your thoughts while walking.

Walking as a natural stress reliever: the beneficial effect of nature

Heal Mother Earth

Consciously walking the earth can restore our peace and harmony, but also the peace and harmony of the earth itself. We are children of the earth. We need her for our happiness, but she also needs us. Whether the earth is beautiful, fresh and green or arid and dry, depends on the way we walk. When we practice walking meditation properly, we massage the earth with our feet and sow joy and happiness with every step. Our Mother Earth will heal us and we will heal her.

A flower blooms with every step

When the baby Buddha was born, he took seven steps and a lotus flower blossomed from each step. When you practice walking meditation, you can do the same. Imagine a lotus, a tulip, or a daisy blossoming from every footstep the moment your foot hits the ground. If you practice like this, your friends will see entire flower fields everywhere you walk.



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