DEPRESSED? 4 Good Reasons To Take A Hike!
Relief yourselves from stress, anxiety and all the symptoms that contributes to being confined or caged in. It is a well known fact that caged animals show symptoms of anxiety and depression as opposed to the ones that are free to run in the wild.
Well it is the same for us, and most of us don’t even realize that we are caged 24/7. We are confined in the office for at least 10 hours a day, if not more. When we finally leave the office, we head straight home and seclude ourselves for rest of the day. A daily ritual for most of us and many of us often find ourselves consumed by negative thoughts. We fail to enjoy "The moment" at it's best, whatever the moment has to offer and we slowly but surely slide down the path to depression and anxiety.
Depression is a common mental disorder which is suffered by more than 300 million people of all ages, globally. No doubt there are effective treatments available for moderate and severe depression such as psychological treatments or antidepressant medication, but do keep in mind the possible adverse effects associated with antidepressant medications.
A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.
Researchers compared the reported rumination of two groups of participants.
- The first group hiked through an urban environment
- The second hiked through a natural environment
The result was to no surprise, they found those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and had reduced neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex. (an area of the brain related to mental illness). Those who walked through the urban environment however, did not report decreased rumination.
In another study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer, it was found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about 4 days, during which time they were refrained from using any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks which required creative thinking and complex problem solving. The researchers found that performance on problem solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion. This study shows that both technology and urban noise are incredibly disruptive. It constantly demands our attention, this distracts us and prevents us from staying focused.
It is evident that a nice long hike can reduce mental fatigue, relax the mind, and stimulate creative thinking. All these benefits can be tapped on easily, and inexpensively. Australians are truly a lucky bunch. We have walking trails, reserves, parks, the outback etc., and all in close proximity.
So, what are you waiting for? Gather a group of friends or even the family and start living. Go on . . . get your good pair of sturdy hiking boots. Having a buffwear will be ideal for the hike, and don't forget the water bottle to revitalize yourself. Next, be sure wear a couple of layers of clothing, so you’ll be rugged up when it’s cool and can easily take it off when it’s warm. If there is room in your haversack then you might want to throw in a GERBER BEAR GRYLLS - Basic Kit, just in case it takes a little longer to get back. A GERBER BEAR GRYLLS Ultimate Multi-Tool will also be a very handy tool to have when hiking. Depending on how dense the bush land you are exploring is, a GERBER BEAR GRYLLS Survival Series Parang should clear any obstacles in your path very easily. It is great for the little stopover breaks where you need to gather firewood.
Bringing your mobile may be wise but just turn your signal off so that you can use it when you really have to.
There are so many more items you can bring along for your comfort and safety. Just visit www.botanex.com.au. There’s More . . . To Life