June 26, 2011
Life getting to you? Take a walk. It could literally save your life.
I’ve said this before, but now I have even more scientific proof that a few minutes outside can change your perspective.
According to a study reported on ScienceDaily.com, just five minutes outside can dramatically improve your mental health. Jules Pretty and Jo Barten, co-authors of the study, found that whether gardening, walking or cycling can lift your mood in no time.
Another thing: how you start your day makes all the difference in the world (I recently told Health magazine this). So if you tend to leap out of bed in a panic, you may wish to consider a different alarm clock. I usually awaken with the sun (which can be problematic in the wintertime here in Germany ~ it typically gets light out around 8:30 in the morning and the kids, well, they have to catch the bus at 6:45). But there are sun simulating alarm clocks that slowly guide you to consciousness. If your alarm clock jangles your nerves before you’re even vertical, it might be worth a try.
Yoga is another great way to find mental balance. A few stretches and poses can help you find your inner warrior when the going gets tough.
And let’s not forget tree-hugging, my personal favorite. If you’ve got one near by, give it some love. You may find yourself a lot more grounded afterwards ~ in just five minutes.