Having a positive mindset is essential for your overall health. A recent study from the Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry found that a person’s walking style could reflect their overall tendency toward being positive or negative.
Researchers believe that by changing the way you walk, you may be able to improve your mood. Here are 6 things you can try.
1. Walk for part of your commute to work.
Those who walk or bike most days to work tend to be healthier than people who drive the entire way or utilize public transportation methods. Breaking up your commute by parking farther away and walking just 10 minutes each day can help you feel happier.
2. Opt for green space.
People who stroll through parks tend to report higher levels of happiness on survey measures. A study from Landscape and Urban Planning showed that just 50 minutes of strolling in green space makes you much happier than taking a walk near heavy traffic. Green space helps people focus on the positive things in their lives, and gives them fewer things to complain about.
3. Be more mindful.
Those who are more mindful during exercise tend to report greater satisfaction with their exercise routines. Being mentally present during activities helps you to be more tolerant of negative experiences. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, so adding a little meditation to your daily walk can help reduce anxiety and make you feel better.
4. Ditch the phone.
When you are constantly attached to your phone, you not only tend to walk slower and make yourself more likely to trip and fall, but it can affect your happiness, too. A study conducted at Kent University concluded that students who left their phones at home while going for a walk reported greater levels of happiness. This may be because they are better able to be mindful and pay attention to the sights and sounds around them.
5. Walk faster.
Studies have shown that those over the age of 60 who walk faster report that they enjoy life more. A British study found that people who are happier tend to have better physical function for longer as they age.
6. Bring your dog along.
Over the years, many studies have shown that pet owners tend to be healthier and report less anxiety than those without furry companions. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine also reported that pet owners tolerated and recovered from stress faster when their pets were around. Your dog will be happier when you take him along, too!
Time to get outside and put a little pep in your step. You will be healthier, have less stress, and be in a better mood.