- calm the nervous system
- reduce stress
- trigger the brain to release “feel good” endorphins, like dopamine
Doctors also say it can decrease the body’s level of the stress hormone, cortisol.
But you don’t need to carve our oodles of time to benefit from this nurturing activity. Try going outside for a walk during your lunch hour or take a brief walk after work.
Scientists have found that just spending time outdoors benefits our physical and emotional health.
Mix things up with ‘mindful walking’
Mindful walking does pretty much what it says on the tin: It incorporates aspects of mindfulness during your walk.
The practice is straight forward. As you walk, pay attention to the rise and fall of your feet, taking note of what you’re doing in each moment. Need a guide? Here’s one to get you started.
Tomorrow: Try your hand at journaling.
Juli Fraga is a licensed psychologist based in San Francisco, California. She graduated with a PsyD from University of Northern Colorado and attended a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. Passionate about women’s health, she approaches all her sessions with warmth, honesty, and compassion. See what she’s up to on Twitter.