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Hiking/Walking outdoors Beneficial to Mental Health

With the beautiful weather and flowers blooming during this lovely month of May, something beneficial to mental health is hiking or walking in nature. With winter behind us, what better time than the present to step outside and enjoy all that this amazing earth has to share with us.

Spending time outside in nature can contribute to a healthy mind, body and soul. Walking/hikingin nature promotes exercise which is a pillar to building sustainable long-term happiness. It also provides nature scenery with birds, plants, and flowers that bring joy and distract you from the trials and tribulations of life.

Something I say often in my sessions, is move your body, move your mind. Have you ever felt stuck in your thoughts, ruminating with the same negative cycle? Something that can help that is getting outdoors and changing the scenery and moving. You may be physically moving, but your mind is also distracted. Physical exercise promotes a healthy mind and body with positive thinking and physical challenges. It can also contribute to decreasing anxiety and depressionovertime. Our bodies weren’t created to sit at a desk for a 9-5 job and/or be part of a hustle-bustle environment. Taking time to recharge and ground yourself in nature can be healing both inside and out and extremely beneficial to lasting happiness.

There are so many great hiking trails right here in our backyard on Long Island. One of my favorites is Avalon Nature Preserve nestled in Stony Brook! A quiet, tranquil place that has trails perfect for the novice or experienced hiker. A great spot for your kids and family, best friends, or pets to enjoy some outdoor adventures this spring. Thanks to an article on,there is a list of great family friendly hikes/walks on Long island. Be sure to check them out, and Feel Alive!

Bonus!! While looking into resources for this article, I came across HIKE for Mental Health. This non-profit organization is dedicated to alleviating the suffering of mental illness. They organize hikes to promote the profound benefits of hiking while also funding mental health research and trail conservation. What a cool organization, sounds like a win-win to me!

If you’re still struggling with your mental health, anxiety or depression, be sure to give us a call or email to connect with one of our lovely clinicians. We are here to help you Feel Alive, today and every day!

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