How walking benefits me
I have always loved walking and find it really beneficial for my mental health. I love to get out in nature, away from life’s demands and lose myself in the present moment for a while. During periods of my life where I have found myself particularly struggling, walking is something that I turn to. It is a positive coping strategy for me and something which I find enjoyment and fulfilment in. I love nothing more than putting on my wellies or walking boots and going for a walk in a peaceful area, away from busy areas and judgement from other people.
Walking provides me with an escape. When I am alone, trekking through the woods with my dog, I feel free to be myself and no longer concerned with how I look, other peoples judgements, or worry less about what is next on my to do list. Although I am a worrier, walking helps me to be in the present moment. It doesn’t always stop my worries, but it helps me to refocus my attention in the present reducing the frequency of my anxious thoughts.
I love exploring in nature and comparing my usual jaunts in the different seasons. I also enjoy taking photos of the plants that I find or the landscape that I am in. I like to look back over these and remember when I took them, how I felt and what it was exactly about that object that called me to photograph it. I don’t have a fancy camera and just take these photographs on my phone. I like the idea that my phone is always in my pocket and that I can just reach for it if I find something that I want to capture.
Do all walks look like this?
I also think that it’s important to mention that lots of my walks don’t always look like this. Sometimes its pouring down with rain, sometimes I don’t walk very far or even feel consumed with worry when I do walk. But I do always find that going on a walk benefits me in some way. Whether that’s getting some fresh air, providing me with time for myself after a busy day, or by even just giving me with the opportunity to get out of the house.
Ways to find out more about Nature and Wellbeing
“Unlocking Nature are a team of people interested in understanding better how people with mental illness, and particularly severe mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other disorders with psychosis, relate to and experience natural outdoor spaces – also known as ‘green and blue’ spaces. The group is composed of a number of neuro-diverse individuals with lived experience of, or who care for people with, SMI, living in Yorkshire and the North-East of the UK.” You can find out more about Unlocking Nature using the button below to visit their website.Unlocking Nature Website
Unlocking Nature films
The team have also produced a few short films about the importance of nature for positive wellbeing. The films “illustrate the main themes discussed by the group: the benefits of spending time in nature; the barriers that might stop people from venturing outdoors and elements that can support them in doing so; the fact that enjoying nature is a personal experience and each individual has different preferences; how spending time in nature can improve how we perceive other aspects of our lives.” Take a look using the button below.Unlocking Nature Films
Nature and Wellbeing Course
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of nature you could access our Nature and Wellbeing course by clicking the following button.Nature and Wellbeing Course