When you live with anxiety, you’re trying different methods of self care to ease your anxiety. From medications & therapy, to home remedies; your self care kit is stocked with different methods of stress relief. That’s why you need to add walking in nature to your self care routine.
Now, me personally, I prefer natural stress relieving methods in my self care arsenal. Less medication, means less nasty side effects to deal with. And I have enough medical problems, thank you!
Walking in nature is not only relaxing, it can be breathtaking! Just wait until I show you some of the personal photography I have taken while walking in nature!
Today I’m sharing with you my go to activity and tips for stress relief by walking in nature.
In this post, we will discuss:
- How walking in nature reduces stress.
- What happens by walking in nature?
- Suggestions for finding nature when you live in a city.
- And sprinkled in a few walking in nature quotes to inspire you.
Stick around to learn how walking in nature reduces stress, helps you recharge & refocus, and eases your anxiety.
Why You Should Walk In Nature
We lead busy lives. We get up early, get the kids ready for school, fight traffic to get to work, deal with a rush of customers & work tasks, rush from work to get the kids to their events, come home to make dinner for the family, get chores done, and have just a short downtime before going to bed to do it all over again.
It is exhausting!
That’s why you need a nature walk to relieve stress & recenter your spirit.
When you recharge and rejuvenate your body and mind, you are giving yourself a boost to continue to conquer anxiety and your daily life!
You’ll be able to give more of yourself to your goals, family, and work; while also caring for yourself. It is a win win! Bonus: If you find the right spot, it can become a personal sanctuary, family tech detox activity, or your favorite workout spot.
The Benefits of Walking in Nature
Walking in Nature Decreases Overwhelm
Your daily life is full of stimulus. -Seriously, think about your day, I’ll wait.-
Sometimes I get so overwhelmed, it hurts to be touched.
Your nervous system is sensitive, and primitive. –Yeah, we’re just walking nerves soaking up information.- And our body is being bombarded with invisible signals from the world. Not to mention all those loud obnoxious signals we all hate.
Think about what happens to your computer when you have too many tabs running. It’s crashes.
Your mind is the same as an overwhelmed internet browser. You get overwhelmed, and you can’t function. Your body will just shut down your processes until you can de-stress.
Walking in nature is the perfect activity to help reduce overwhelm so you can erase some of the stress you have absorbed and start with a cleaner slate.
Walking in Nature Provides Many Physical Benefits
Ladies, let me tell you, walking in nature is the perfect hobby for you if your insecure about your body. Bonus: it will make your doctor shut up about your weight!
That’s one major stressor that vanishes! –Mine no longer cares since I walk 8+ miles a week, even though I am still a little cherub. The proof is in my pedometer!-
Walking in nature reduces fatigue.
Of all the walking in nature benefits, this is one of my favorites.
When I can’t get rid of the sleepies, I hit the trail. The sound and smells while walking in nature help me perk up and I can make it through the rest of my day without a nap, and without a heroic dose of caffeine.
Have you ever heard the saying “A body in motion wants to stay in motion, and a body at rest wants to stay at rest”. Well, it’s true.
A moving body not only perks up and starts burning fuel to give you energy to get through your day, but it also helps increase your circulation and reduces joint pain to keep you in motion.
As a bonus: all that walking will help lower your BP, steady your heart rate, increase your lung capacity, aid digestion, and even help you sleep better!
Because when you sleep better at night, you have more energy during the day to burn to get you moving and active. Thus leading to a second night of great sleep, and so on!!
That’s why a day spent out at the beach or the park leaves you sleeping soundly at night!
RELATED POST: 20 Healthy Mindset Habits to Try Today for Positive Mental Health
Oxygen & the Smell of Dirt Increases Serotonin Production
We are essentially walking, talking house plants. We need water and oxygen. They are essential.
What do Drs do first when they treat emergencies? Slap on oxygen and start an IV to keep your bp up. Oxygen keeps your organs alive, and water keeps your circulation going. It’s life giving.
And nature provides pure oxygen from the surrounding plants. As well as some oh so happy chemicals! Even get a natural high after an ER visit? Fresh air is quite stimulating.
According to “That Darn Amygdala”, there is bacteria found in dirt that helps promote serotonin production. And as we all know, serotonin is responsible for you feeling happier and more balanced mood-wise.
It gets in through your skin, boosts that serotonin and even improves your immune system so you can decrease your risk of illness. –I don’t know about you, but getting sick less really makes me want to go for a barefoot walk!”
For more information about how plants help balance your mental health, see Carissa’s excellent guide “Plants and Mental Health: Why They Pair Together”.
Walking in Nature Improves Your Cognitive Function & Creativity
This is my go-to solution for problem solving and writer’s block!
Some of my best ideas happen when I am walking my psychiatric service dog, Koda, on one of our sniffing walks. I just make a note in my phone so I have it for later.
Remember, your circulation improves as you walk? That is why ideas and solutions for problems are happening.
You are increasing blood flow to your brain and it is helping you by providing the solutions you were looking for.
Those ideas can help soothe your anxiety or give you creative ways to combat stress.
My walks in nature helped me find a love for photography!
Bonus Benefit of Walking in Nature: Selfies Look Amazing!!!!
Mother Nature has you covered for perfect backgrounds. From waterfalls to canyons, beaches to gardens; walking in nature provides those perfect Instagram worthy backdrops!
Check out this photo I took of my daughter, Abi. We found this little field of wildflowers while walking the pups. It is still one of my favorites to this day!
Suggestions to Explore Nature in the Urban Jungle
Check out these hotspots if you live in the city. There is no reason you can’t enjoy walking in nature in your city too!
- Alltrails shows you local walking trails.
- State parks are great for hiking!
- Picnics in the park, local lakes, rivers will be a family favorite for adventure.
- Visit zoos & botanical gardens to enjoy plants and animals while in the city.
- Visit local farms, fields, greenhouses, and nurseries to enjoy some plant time.
- Get away and take a self care vacation to natural places away from city life!
Wrapping it Up
The benefits of walking in nature are endless if you love to explore.
You can find nature walks in the city, suburbs, or out in the open countryside.
Walking in nature can help you with serotonin production, physical health, and decreasing anxiety naturally.
And help you have a creative outlet that will help you lower your stress levels.
Share your favorite walking in nature getaway with me in the comments!
Your nature getaway could help someone near you combat their anxiety, so be sure to share the name and location.
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Very good read. I appreciate all your points regarding the benefits of walking outdoors when dealing with anxiety. It is one of my favorite things to enjoy the outdoors especially with my love. 🤗
Pastor Natalie (Examine This Moment)
I’m super impressed with the gorgeous photos! I too have found that walking outdoors is a huge anxiety relief for me.
I am also a big fan of walking whenever I can, either in nature or to get from A to B in the city to avoid taking public transport. The extra tips for city dwellers are really helpful too.
My daughter and I both struggle with anxiety. I try to encourage her to be outside as much as possible (and I try to do the same myself). I really love this post–it gives me new inspiration to get outside even as the weather gets colder.
Great article! I love taking walks in nature. It’s so peaceful and gives me the much needed break from technology.
I am a HUGE advocate for being in nature. It has transformed my mental health. There are always places to encounter nature. You just need to look for them. Great post.