Getting off the Beaten Path
Walking in nature can be as good as mindfulness
I’ve just got back from a wonderful walk on Southampton Common.
My inner nomad was out to play today, and I went off exploring, finding all sorts of little paths and copses that I didn’t know were there. What I noticed most though, was that off the beaten paths, I really had to watch my step, it was probably a bit of a work out, climbing over fallen trees, bending under low hanging branches, avoiding the brambles (lots of brambles!).
But the harder it was, I realised, the more I was simply not thinking, just being in the moment, just walking, just clambering, just doing. All my busy thoughts had stopped (hurray!).
What a wonderful way to switch off our thinking, especially if it’s rather negative. It had the same effect as a mindfulness meditation, but with the added benefits of being outside and getting some exercise, both of which boost the feel-good chemicals in the brain too.
So, my top tip for anxiety and depression-banishing therapy – go for a stroll and get off the beaten path. Plus it’s free!