walking video journalling

The current economic pressure, social isolation, and rapid technological advancements we are witnessing today are contributing to a rise in mental health issues.

Whilst some researchers attribute the hike in the number of people reporting mental health issues is due to improved awareness and destigmatisation of psychiatry or counselling, more people are seeking help. 

But there is no doubt that many aspects of modern lifestyles contribute to stress, anxiety and depression. Repressed emotions are also thought to be a significant contributing factor to depression and anxiety. 

Two solutions that mental health professionals often recommend are walking and journaling. You can also double up on your efforts by combining the two. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of journalling, (either through writing or making a video) your walking experiences to reveal how they contribute to easing your mental health.

Experts believe that keeping track of the places you walk by journaling because both strategies help us to introspect and hone in on our deepest emotions. 

Journaling about your walks and outdoor experiences allows you to reflect, process emotions, and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your surroundings.

Mindfulness and Presence

Journaling about your walks encourages you to be present at the moment and fully engage with your surroundings. You will find that your thoughts turn to thinking about what you will write about whilst you’re on your walk. 

This thinking process fosters mindfulness and encourages you to be present by using your five senses to take in the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of nature. 

The spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle, a huge proponent of living in the moment, writes in his book, The Power of Now, Tolle writes: 

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

Stress Reduction

A key part of managing mental health episodes is found in stress reduction. Both walking and journalling are known to reduce stress. Studies show that walking promotes the release of endorphins which play a key role in your mood. 

Writing about your walking experiences can serve as a form of stress relief. The act of journaling can be calming, and expressing your thoughts and emotions can help release tension and promote a sense of emotional well-being.

Thought Processing

Walking and journaling allow you to process your emotions related to the places you visit. You can express joy, gratitude, awe, or any other feelings evoked by nature, which can be a therapeutic way to cope with challenging emotions.

Positive thinking, observing how you talk to yourself and practising self-compassion has been found to be key contributing factors in helping patients overcome anxiety and depression. Walking helps you to clear your thoughts and reflect on how your thoughts influence how you feel. 

Self-Discovery and Reflection

Similarly, journaling about your walks offer an opportunity to write down your thoughts and explore your emotional status in more detail. This process of self-discovery help to bring insights to the surface of your mind. 

Self-awareness is the first step to healing mental health issues. Once you are aware of how your thoughts, actions and emotions cause the way you feel and perceive the world around you, it’s easier to change your patterns of thoughts and behaviour.

Connection with Nature

Writing about your outdoor experiences helps strengthen your connection with nature. This connection has been shown to improve mental well-being, reduce anxiety, and increase feelings of connectedness.

A 2014 study found that nature walks have a good success rate of helping people fight anxiety and depression. Subsequently, Sweatcoin recommends making nature walks a habit

Goal Setting and Achievement

You can also use your walking journal to set and track goals related to your walks. Accomplishing these goals, whether it’s exploring new trails or increasing your walking distance, can boost your sense of achievement and self-confidence.

Alternatively, writing about your walks encourages creative expression. You can sketch, draw, or include photographs in your journal, enhancing your creative outlets and providing a different way to remember your walks.

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