Hiking is one of the easiest and least-expensive sports to get involved in, and it’s fun and beneficial for the whole family. If you’re just getting started, don’t plan a Colorado 14er or to hike the Appalachian Trail. You can start small. Check out local short hiking trails and work your way up to a safe and comfortable distance.
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Doctors are starting to write “nature prescriptions” or recommending “ecotherapy” to reduce anxiety, improve stress levels, and to curb depression. Plus, nature prescriptions are becoming more accepted by traditional health care providers as more research shows the benefits of exercising and spending time in nature.
Our world is becoming more and more urban and urbanization is linked to depression and other forms of mental illness. Visibly, simply removing us from an urban environment to spend time outdoors where there are fewer mental stressors, less noise, and fewer distractions can be advantageous for our mental health.
Star walking is turning out to be a welcome antidote for pandemic times. By visiting hills and valleys after sunset, outdoor enthusiasts not only gain all the health benefits of being in nature, they find empty trails unfolding under a limitless night sky.
Hiking at night isn’t uncommon. Plenty of people hike after dark to get to campsites or watch the sunrise from a mountaintop. Star walking goes a step further by blending hiking with stargazing.
Rather than heading to an observatory or setting up a telescope in your backyard, star walking takes you on a brief journey to look at the stars from different viewpoints.
People tend to be social creatures and research has shown that social connections are vital for both emotional and physical well being.
However, alone time also plays a pivotal role in mental health. Being around other people comes with rewards, but it also creates stress. You worry about what people think, You alter your behavior to avoid rejection and to fit in with the rest of the group.
Alone time can be so important. Having time for yourself gives you the chance to break free from social pressures and tap into your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
With record-high instances of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse in the United States, and likely elsewhere, we still think antidepressants can be used to relieve some of the damage. But this may not be true. The use of antidepressants has inadvertently left many less able to feel empathy toward others, laugh, cry, dream, and enjoy life when we need it most.
A theory of brain function involving serotonin may point a way forward for effective treatment.
❤️ Brainstash Inc.