World Mental Health Day: How walking can work wonders for your mental health
- World Mental Health Day: Walking that comes with multitude of benefits for physical and mental health can speed up recovery for mental health patients and improve mood instantly.
World Mental Health Day: A simple activity of taking a walk can be your first step towards recovery from mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Walking that comes with multitude of benefits for physical and mental health can boost your emotional well-being, energy and instantly improve your mood.
No wonder, people with mental health issues along with medication are often advised by their doctors to take regular walks. So, how does walking ease symptoms of depression or anxiety?
"Mental health related illnesses can have an impact on the functionality of people. Doing your regular chores, day-to-day activities seem difficult. The reason why these basic things like walking, waking up and eating on time are recommended is because it allows you to resume the routine that got compromised on the account of illness," says Kamna Chhibber, head of mental health and behavioural sciences at Fortis Memorial, Gurugram, in a telephonic conversation with HT Digital.
How walking can start recovery process for mental health patients
Restarting things can seem like an arduous task to a person who's going through mental health related issues. "Everything seems so big at that time because you are not able to do anything properly. You may feel incapable and start questioning your abilities. When you start doing these small things like walking almost prescriptively, you may see a positive change," says Chhibber.
"The whole idea is to encourage a person that they need to create this routine and provide them the motivation that they will be able to manage the routine once they have created it. Also, it keeps on giving them the reinforcement to do more because it's like telling them that if they can do this, they can even do more. It acts as stimulant to take the next step as far as physical and mental health component is concerned," she adds.
Walking helps you connect with outside world
Physical and mental health are very intricately linked and one cannot be in good shape without the other. Walking boosts your physical health and that is bound to give you mental health benefits. It also allows you to create a routine in daily life and an opportunity to connect with the outside world.
"When you are going for a walk, you may end up coming across other people, you may nod at them, smile at them, and they may smile back at you. That social component gets facilitated. At the same time, it allows you to be in midst of nature and environment that can have a strong impact on an individual's mental health. So when you are in a park and are walking amid the greenery, it makes you feel good. That feeling on a daily basis can automatically be created by a simple activity called walk," says Chhibber.
Walking can make you feel good about yourself
A lot of times people forget about the fact that they have to do something for themselves. Walking can be an opportunity to find some me-time and do something for ourselves.
"People play different roles in their life. We have responsibilities. But one has to also see what works for them. This small little walk for ten minutes may become a thing that you are doing for yourself. In a way it emphasizes on the priority that you are giving to yourself and makes you feel good about your own self and bolster your self-esteem, creating a sense of positivity in a way," adds Chhibber.