The Key to Happiness: Walking to Beat Stress and Find Peace of Mind

The key to happiness is literally right under your nose. You can walk your way to happiness, overcome stress and find peace of mind, if you follow a few simple steps. Walking is a wonderful way to improve your health, enhance your mental health, create peace of mind, and to enjoy life more. What’s more, you can include your friends on your walks and make them more fun. 

What is the key to happiness? There may be many answers, but they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. And research tells us that taking a walk a day keeps the doctor away. Walking promotes heart and cardiovascular health, and helps you to build or tone muscle, and to decrease stress. Exercise has been shown to be as effective as anti-depressant medication in managing depression. Plus, walking outside gives you an opportunity to come into contact with nature, and to observe the beautiful world around you, thus increasing your happiness index. 

How To Walk For Peace of Mind

Yesterday I watched two women walking near my office building. Their heads were down and they were staring at the ground. They were both smoking cigarettes. They were walking very slowly, and talking about their problems. They probably weren’t getting much good out of their walking, although I think they were seeking to try and overcome stress. Something tells me they have a lot to learn about the key to happiness.

Let’s take a look at how you can correct the mistakes the women made and have a successful walk. Here are a few tips you can follow. 

Tips to Overcome Stress

1.   Keep your head up, so you can see the clouds or stars, or the treetops. You’ll enjoy your walk much more. 

2.   Breathe deeply from your lower diaphragm (and don’t smoke) and enjoy the fresh air.

3.   Avoid thinking or talking about your problems.  Otherwise, you’ll miss the beauty around you and end up more stressed than when you started. Instead, keep your mind open and free. The purpose is to enjoy your walk, and to walk your way to happiness, right? 

4.   Walk briskly enough to make it slightly hard to talk. Then your body is burning fat and you are working out your heart. 

5.   If you see something interesting, go ahead and stop and take a closer look. A pretty rose or sunset? A blue jay perched on the limb of a tree? Snowflakes that land on your outstretched mitten? Taking a little time to savor the beautiful aspects of the natural world will make your walk more enjoyable and beneficial. You can walk your way to happiness and peace of mind, if you get good at finding the beauty in your environment and focusing on it. 

Many people are too busy using their phones, dwelling on problems or dealing with other distractions to get the most from walking. Are you on of them? You can discover how wonderful and exhilarating a walk can be by applying the key to happiness and removing all distractions. Also, you will soon realize that walking can decrease depression and anxiety, and strengthen your spiritually. 

A True Story: Finding the Key to Happiness

I began walking in earnest after a Near Death Experience many years ago. Once I left the hospital and was back on my feet, I was thrilled to be walking again. How beautiful the world was to my eyes. I began to notice the wildlife right under my nose. I became a lover of clouds and sunsets, and found myself enjoying our central Kentucky skies like I never had before. I looked forward to walking every day and gradually increased my walking distance. 

Tonight I walked my dog in the snow. The stars and moon were blazing in the cobalt sky. Pastures and fence posts were covered in snow. Everywhere we went the beauty of the night astounded me. I was looking for the beauty in my surroundings. And I found it. I felt like I was walking on air, and carving out my own chunk of the key to happiness. 

When I returned to my house, I felt great. I was more relaxed and less stressed, and feeling better than ever. Sometimes I stop and take pictures or sketch a wildflower in my field journal.

Then, once I go inside, I write a short description of my walk, writing about the most interesting discoveries I’ve made. In this way, my walking improves my life and helps me to battle stress. What's more, walking increases my health, happiness and well being. 

In Closing

Every day is a new day, and you can use it to apply the key to happiness. Cast your worries aside, look for the beauty all around you, and walk your way to happiness. You can find joy and peace of mind by following my simple tips for walking, and making time to walk every day. 

For more information on happiness, click here.

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