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Friday, February 16, 2018

Walking in Nature Can Improve Your Mood

Research studies have shown that city dwellers who don't have access to nature are more likely to develop anxiety and depression as compared with people who have access to green spaces (see New York Times article:  How Walking in Nature Changes Your Brain).

Walking in Nature Can Improve Your Mood

Research Study: Walking in Nature Can Improve Your Mood
A research study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that walking in nature (as opposed to walking on a highway) lowered the volunteers' propensity for brooding (also known as morbid rumination) as demonstrated in the before and after questionnaires that the volunteers took.

According to this study, the volunteers who walked in nature focused less on the negative aspects of their lives (as compared with the volunteers who walked on the highway).

This research suggests that walking in nature can help to improve your mood.

Questions still remain:
  • How much time in nature is sufficient to improve mood?  
  • What aspects of nature are most soothing?  
  • Besides walking, what other types of activities in nature have beneficial effects?
Further research will be needed to answer those questions.

The Other Benefits of Walking
Aside from lifting your mood, a regular walking routine can help you to lose weight.

In addition, walking can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.  

Walking can also help build strong bones.

Getting Started and Staying Motivated to Walk in Nature
One way to get motivated is to have a walking buddy and to decide in advance how often and what days and times you will both get together to walk in nature.

Having a walking buddy is beneficial for social support.  It also helps on the days when you might want to skip the walk and your walking buddy encourages you to get going.  You can also provide the same encourage to your walking buddy when your buddy might want to slack off.

Always check with your medical doctor before you start any new physical regimen.

Getting Help in Therapy
Walking in nature has been shown to improve your mood, but if you still struggle with depression or anxiety, you could benefit from seeing a licensed psychotherapist (see my article: The Benefits of Psychotherapy).

Everyone needs help at some point in his or her life.

A skilled psychotherapist can help you to work through your problems so that you can have a more fulfilling life (see my article: How to Choose a Psychotherapist).

Rather than suffering on your own, get help from a licensed mental health professional.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist (see my article: The Therapeutic Benefits of Integrative Psychotherapy).

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.





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