Would you like to step up your mental game? Then take a hike.
If you have ever been on a hike you probably have said something like “there is just something so special with being outside in nature”. Well there certainly is, and its not just the fresh air.
One really exciting thing is that hiking has shown to reduce ruminative thoughts. Ruminative thoughts are repetitive negative thoughts that focus on the negative aspects of the self. Such thoughts can include embarrassing moments, times where you have failed, been ashamed, etc. Ruminative thoughts can be really damaging to your mental wellbeing as well as they are directly linked to depression. Reducing ruminative thoughts alone is a good enough reason to go hiking, but there is more!
Photography by Lennarth Sundberg @lennarthsundberg
Hiking in uneven terrain has been showed to make us use 28% more energy than walking on flat ground. You are not only getting a better workout, but this will also help you sleep better and reduce stress. By walking in uneven terrain your mind has to focus on every step you take, and that forces you to be present in the moment. Therefore there is no time to worry about the future, or dwell on the past.
Even anxiety has been known to be reduced through hiking, as it allows you to zone in your breathing to almost a meditative state. And let’s not forget about all the positive feeling you get as you reach your destination, and the overall wellbeing after your body release all those wonderful hormones from the physical activity.
My advice is therefore the following. Are you stressed at work, hurting over past events, grieving, anxious about the future?
Stop dwelling about it.
Take a hike! ?