Stress can do severe damage to both your mental and physical health while the great outdoors is certain to lower cortisol levels and boost wellbeing. You may not think of yourself as the outdoor type but it’s more likely that you simply haven’t found the right activity for you. There are so many different ones to try. Here are just five that are particularly good if your main goal is to overcome stress.
1 – Kayaking
Many people find water to be incredibly relaxing. There’s something about the gentle bobbing of the waves, the sound of a trickling stream, and the calmness of the deep blue, that just puts the mind at ease. It’s probably a throwback to evolution. We needed water to survive so being near the water instilled a great sense of calm and tranquillity.
Many watersports, however, can be dangerous, difficult, and scary. For beginners, kayaking is probably the best option. Gently paddle at your own pace through beautiful surroundings. You can’t bring your phone or your work onto the water so this creates an isolated environment in which to fully relax and unwind.
2 – Farmwork
If you want to let off a little bit of steam through hard work, then consider volunteering on a farm. You can do everything from digging holes to cruising through the countryside from the comfort of tractor seats. Country life is slow and deliberate; an ideal change from the fast pace of city living that leads to so much stress in modern society. Why not trade it all for being a farmer, even if just for a day or a week?
3 – Mountain Hiking
Many people find the mountains incredibly relaxing. Firstly, it involves serious exercise which gets serotonin pumping around the body and burns off cortisol. Then there are the incredible views that blow you away and stop you from getting lost in stressful thoughts. The lack of cell phone reception also means that you won’t be bothered by work emails. Finally, nothing beats the feeling of achievement that comes from conquering a mountain. This gives a massive boost to your confidence levels.
4 – Yoga
Yoga is among the best remedies for stress. It’s best performed outside on a beautiful sunny day with a soft breeze keeping you cool. Try to find a yoga class that takes place in the outdoors rather than a dark and dingy gym hall. This could be in a flower-filled garden or somewhere more spectacular, like on the beach or a mountaintop.
5 – Meditation
Meditation is also one of the best ways of overcoming stress and anxiety. Everyone should practice this, even if it’s just for two minutes in the morning. If you want the best experience, though, attend a meditation retreat. These often utilize a beautiful outdoor space that is fully cut off from the rest of the world.
Any activity you do outside is likely to lower stress, from taking a gentle stroll around the block to going on a week-long expedition. The five above are just a few that guarantee to leave you feeling calmer and more content.