When we are feeling anxious and stressed, the last thing we feel like doing is getting out of the house and going for a walk. But there are many scientific studies that have been carried out that give evidence to prove that this is exactly the sort of thing that we should be doing.
Instead of staying indoors and waiting for the feeling to pass, which is what we tend to do, a brisk walk will activate specific soothing neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters act to help to lower the feeling of anxiety and stress.
We have known for a long time that exercise improves our mood, but this can take a little more motivation when you are experiencing a low mood or anxiety. A simple walk to start off with will trigger the calming process and you can pick up speed to a brisk walk as your mood starts to improve.
If you are the sort of person that needs the motivation of helping others in order to do something, then why not offer to take someone’s dog for a walk, or deliver some leaflets for someone? Offer yourself as a free service to a friend, neighbor or local business and not only will your wellbeing improve, you will build relationships and friendships with the people around you.
Ideally you should aim to try and incorporate 20 minutes of brisk walking into part of your daily routine. Set this time aside for yourself each day, as you will find the rest of your day becomes more productive as a result. Why not listen to your favorite music, something that will put a spring in your step. Or download an audio book or a podcast to keep your mind occupied. If you are enjoying listening to the music or book, it might motivate you to walk for a little bit longer. Maybe you could make a call to someone you have been meaning to speak to for a long time. Once you get into the conversation you will find that time passes so much quicker and before you know it you are back at home.
Get yourself a good pair of lace up shoes and build your daily walk into your routine. You can start by walking to the shops instead of driving or getting the bus, plus you get the added bonus of saving money on gas or bus fare at the same time.
Find somewhere nice to walk. If you live in a built up area, try and find a local park or walk along the river. The peace of the countryside will take you away from it all and give you a better sense of peace.