We are a generation of busyness and this is a trend that does not seem to be diminishing anytime soon. In a day and age where we work so feverishly to balance work and life demands, dealing with emotional issues often gets put on the back burner. We rarely take the time needed to care for one of the must crucial aspects of our health, our mental health. What if there was a way to not only care for our emotional well-being but care for our physical self as well? Introducing Walk and Talk Therapy.
Walk and Talk Therapy is More
Walk and Talk Therapy is so much more than the name initially indicates. The benefits of this type of therapy are many. Our bodies naturally produce the stress hormone cortisol. Research has shown that walking, when exposed to some form of nature, reduces the amount of cortisol in the body. Research has also found that walks exposed to nature have made significant, positive impacts on those with moderate to severe depression. Researchers at the University of Michigan found the following benefits associated with walking:
- Improved well-being and mental health
- Decreased depression
- Lower perceived stress
Getting Off the Couch
For some, sitting on a couch across from a therapist can feel daunting for many reasons. Many feel uneasy about the prospect of someone staring into their eyes. They fear judgement or being scrutinised. It can feel like confrontation and make it difficult to speak honestly and openly about their struggle. Making direct eye contact with someone can feel like a painstaking, physical task that overshadows what they are trying to get out of their heads and into words. In times of overwhelming tension or conflict, many people are told to "walk it off". This is suggested because people know that taking a walk to cool off offers benefits to working out difficult situations.
The mind-body connection is real and not simply a cliché. Scientists have long linked many physical diseases to emotional health. Since there is so much documented research and evidence proving a strong correlation between physical and mental health, why not employ a tactic like walk and talk therapy that utilizes two known strategies to increase your overall well-being? We've already discussed multiple benefits of walking, let's look at some of the ways talking contributes to positive mental health. Talk therapy has been shown to help people experiencing any of the following cope and heal:
- Troubled family issues
- Emotional problems in children: Children who can learn healthy, coping skills early in life are more likely to grow into well-adjusted adults that contribute positively to society.
- Relationship problems
- Coping with serious illness
- Coping after a tragedy
- Help for aging people dealing with depression, loneliness or illness
- Abuse victims: This includes those dealing with various forms of abuse including physical, sexual and emotional.
The Benefits of Walk and Talk Therapy
Talk therapy is beneficial for a broad range of life challenges. Combined with walking, people can experience shorter healing times and additional coping skills between sessions. Otherwise shy people have the opportunity to open up in a non-threatening atmosphere. Walk and talk therapy opens the door for people who may not seek out help in a more traditional setting to get the help they so desperately need. The healing process is initiated by the body's own natural healing process and as a result of a natural decrease in stress, the overall process has the capability to transform traditional talk therapy.
Walk and Talk Therapy is a good example of finding ways to go with today's changes instead of offering canned solutions that aren't a good fit for everyone. It's a combination of two proven ways to increase a person's overall well-being and emotional health. It really can be as simple as a walk in the park . Contact Mary Shull today to see if Walk and Talk Therapy is a good fit for you.