This was a picture I took on a recent trip to the park with my mother. We enjoy going through walks in nature whenever we can. This picture is of a great blue heron, my favorite bird. Usually, they are rather skittish and fly away before you can get very close. This one, turned around and walked right up to me. It was a rather magical experience. One of those things that may not happen again for the rest of my life. We have seen deer jump off an island, swim across a lagoon, jump on shore and run past us. Most days do not include such exciting events, but we always manage to see some great wildlife. Sometimes it is deer, sometimes racoons. We have seen migrating birds, red squirrels and a host of other animals. Sometimes it is just the beauty of nature itself that we appreciate. Right now, the leaves are changing colors and it is fun to see as we walk.
Walking in nature has many benefits. The most obvious is that you are getting some exercise while breathing in some fresh air. There are, in my mind, more important scientific benefits to going for a stroll in your local park or forest. Walking in nature reduces stress, helps improve our cognition and even help us foster and grow our feelings of mindfulness and gratitude. You can both meet neighbors or choose to be left alone to your thoughts. Usually, you have the choice of a nice flat path, or for a little extra workout, try walking on grass or the forest floor. If you are careful not to step in a hole or twist an ankle, you can find yourself using muscles you didn’t even know you had! It will also have you practicing a little mind control. There is the great plus that the animals do not judge you or gossip…as far as we know. There is even a study that states looking at the horizon will help you sap your stress and put your emotions in perspective.
On this site we are usually focused on constructive actions that will lead to a more fulfilling and rewarding life. This action is no exception. Sometime this weekend, take yourself for a walk. Whether you prefer the solitude of walking deep in the woods, or a sun-dappled concrete path in the park where you can meet some neighbors and an occasional friendly dog, get out in nature! It will improve your physical health, but it will also do a great deal to drain your stress and fill you with a greater sense of inner peace. You may also get some great pictures like the ones I captured in this blog. I am going to leave you with a Zen quote to ponder as well as the video I captured of the Heron walking up to me. I hope you enjoy them and I would love to see your pictures from walking in nature!