One attendee in particular wanted to express how important the great outdoors is to him and his mental health journey:
- Walking long distances puts me in an ultra serene frame of mind.
- After a few hours, it induces a prolonged meditative state. It also promotes a superior quality of sleep.
- It gives time and space for creative and artistic ideas to flow, or for solutions to problems to arise.
- It presents a challenge on the body.
- It encourages presence, immersion in the now, in the given moment.
- It’s good training in quietening the mind for times when you aren’t walking. Sometimes when i’m isolated I can tap into the mood of the walking mind and I don’t feel so lonely any more.
- It engages your sense of wonder through experiencing the constantly evolving scenery around you. I think this appeals to the oldest parts of our minds, the child within.
- It builds an appetite, and the time spent eating the meals you take while resting are richer, grateful and more mindful experiences.
- There are constant opportunities to be sociable.
- It’s a reiteration and reminder of the wonderful complexity and value of you and just how much you can humanly experience simply by putting one foot in front of another.
All these things combined have helped me keep my mental health in good check. I still falter at times just like everyone else, but without being outdoors regularly, walking and seeing nature, I’d likely be in much worse mental shape.