Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Here’s something that many of us simply don’t do enough of: walking in nature.
Going for a nature walk is one of THE most effective ways to feel calmer, to help improve your overall health, and even to stimulate creativity.
Walking of any kind is in fact extremely good for stimulating creativity and encouraging calmness. The reason for this, is that when we go for a long walk, we are engaging in a form of low-level activity. We need to think a little about where we’re going and how to coordinate our feet, but nothing too strenuous. This in turn prevents us from getting bored and frustrated, while freeing our minds up to explore other diverse topics. And more specifically, it triggers what is known as the ‘default mode network’. That in turn, means that you’re going to find yourself daydreaming and thinking more creatively about the future.
What’s even more potent though, is to take a walk in nature. Why? Because the natural surrounds of a forest walk or seaside stroll can help to make us more relaxed, which in turn stimulates further creativity.
The reason is evolutionary: in the wild, the sight of lush green trees meant that we were approaching shelter, supplies, and resources – nourishment. Today, even looking at the color green on its own has been shown to lower the heart rate and to help improve calmness.
There’s more to this as well. For example, walking outdoors is also a brilliant way to boost your health. Walking outside not only means getting some exercise and burning some calories/fat, but also increasing your production of vitamin D. Vitamin D acts like a ‘master hormone’ and can help to boost other hormones that improve mood and encourage a more ideal physique.
The fresh air likewise will help in all kinds of ways: it will increase your energy at the time, and going forward. It will also help you to sleep better the following night, significantly improving your stress levels the next day.
So, make time for walking – not just as a way to get from point a to point b. Walk for the sake of walking, and take some time to breathe deeply, drink in the sights, and listen to the birds. It’s good for the soul and even better for your brain.