Yes, you read that correctly. You should be parking your car on the other end of the parking lot. And I know what look you’re giving me right now:
If you’re searching for a parking spot near the door, fighting over spaces, and following people as they walk to their cars, you’re doing it wrong (and being mildly creepy). Instead, park your car on the other end of the lot, take a few deep breaths, and meander on over to your destination. It’s very healthy for you. In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do for your mind. Here’s why:
Walking Gives You The Opportunity to Think:
When you work in an office or are in school, you spend a long stretch of your day hunched over a computer, holding stress in your shoulders, and chewing over the same thoughts repeatedly. Walking is an escape. It literally allows your body the freedom to stretch and roam. And walking directly correlates with creativity. The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was aware of this and for that reason held “walking meetings.”
Sunlight is good for you:
We’ve all heard that Vitamin D is linked with happiness. Doctors recommend exposing yourself to direct sunlight 15 minutes three times a week for the best results.
But did you also know that daylight helps keep our circadian rhythms appropriately aligned with the place that we live – which is great, because when they’re not, we experience stress. Being in daylight also improves our mood and general feelings of well-being. Positive moods have been linked to broader and more creative thinking.
It give you time to appreciate nature:
Take time each day to stand outside, feel the wind on your face, and marvel at the beauty of this Earth. This allows us to escape our own thoughts for a period. It’s easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of daily life and forget that none of this really matters in the long-run. What are board meetings and dentists appointments compared to the 13 billion year existence of the universe? Think about this every now and then and your personal problems will feel less like problems.
It Initiates Good Habits
A habit is something that we’re conditioned to do through repetition. It’s an action that is so second nature, we don’t even think about it when we’re acting it out. We all have good habits and bad habits. Taking a walk is a healthy way to cope with stress and deal with racing thoughts and if we routinely get into the mindset of walking, it creates a chain reaction of other healthy routines. If you can incorporate one healthy habit into your routine, adding more will do wonders for you.
[Featured Image Credit: halfrain via Flickr]