Take a Hike to Keep Depression at Bay

Take a Hike to Keep Depression at Bay

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
John Muir
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Anyone who enjoys a good hike knows how uplifting it can be. Now scientists have discovered a reason why: Walking in nature actually reduces a specific type of self-obsessive negative thinking called “rumination,” which has been shown to lead to episodes of depression.

When scientists at Stanford took a group of 38 mentally-healthy city dwellers recently and asked them to take a 90-minute walk either through oak-dotted hills or along a congested urban street, the results were clear: Participants who walked in the undeveloped natural setting showed substantial decreases in ruminative activity and the negative emotions that come with it. The scientists’ conclusion? “Natural environments are more restorative, and thus confer greater psychological benefits.” Sounds right to us! (For the full story, go to theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/how-walking-in-nature-prevents-depression/397172/?utm_source=SFFB.)

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Leaving civilization behind and interacting with wild landscapes is good for body and spirit — even if just for a little while. Take the time to find your own place “off the beaten path,” and your state of mind will thank you.

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For more about walking and how it relates to mental health, click here

“Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.”

John Muir

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