Danica Patrick: You’ve got to unplug to recharge

May 16, 2017 | by Danica Patrick

The world is coming at us so fast.

And technology keeps us wanting more. I hate my phone, but I love it. Sometimes scrolling through my social media feed feels addicting.

Breaking away from the pull of that little screen to take a walk outside isn’t always easy. Once you do, though, you’ll notice a difference in the way you feel.

Your mind will stop racing, your breathing will slow down. You’ll physically relax, and everything will seem a little more peaceful.

It sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

There are so many powerful elements in nature -- birds, trees, wind, the sun -- so many things that ground you.

You feel small again. You feel grateful. There’s a lot more soul searching in my life when I’m outside, walking in the woods or walking on the beach.

A long walk outside, away from technology, is like meditation. It can recharge you from the inside out.

Confession: I bring my cell phone with me when I go for a walk. But it’s not so I can catch up on Twitter.

I feel more connected to nature when I listen to slow, calming music. Try it. Music may help you go a little deeper in your outdoor nature meditation.

There are also good reasons to shut the music off during your walk, though. Studies have found that the sounds of nature can calm your brain and reduce stress.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a good reminder to take steps to guard and nurture your own mental health. One study led by Stanford University researchers found walking in nature could actually lower your risk for depression.

Going outside doesn’t just help your mental state. Studies have found spending time outdoors could help a number of physical health issues.

Bottom line: I could be less likely to be depressed, physically fitter, with a clearer head and more relaxed psyche – all from spending time in the great outdoors. I’ll take it.

At Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, we treat the whole person—physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. Learn more.

From walking programs to kickboxing, Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness can help you drive your health forward.

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