Dr. Alex George has opened up about the joy of walking
Anyone who has suffered from mental health issues has been told to “just go for a walk”, but sometimes that advice can cause more harm than good.
Thinking you can just walk your issues away really stings and makes you feel like there’s actually nothing wrong, but it can alleviate your symptoms when it is combined with other forms of treatment.
Dr. Alex explained how walking can help boost our moods. He said it’s important for him to stay active after suffering from mental health issues for years.
Alex said walking also helps with his ADHD: “I can manage my hyperactivity by getting out there and doing a long walk. It calms my brain and makes it more likely that I can be productive. Losing my brother and work pressures really affected my health. I wasn’t exercising or eating well, and I put on quite a lot of weight. So I got Rolo [his dog].”
“I started walking in the morning and began to enjoy being outside. That spurred me to go back to the gym and train again, which inspired me to eat better. I stopped drinking alcohol about five months ago too,” Alex explained.
“Often we get preoccupied with life’s worries and stresses. When walking in nature you realise that life is so big and vast. That puts your worries into perspective. I’m a natural introvert, a worrier, and a critical thinker. When walking I look around and see the birds and the trees, and it’s grounding.”
As someone who suffers from anxiety as well as bouts of low mood, walking does help ease my symptoms, especially on the bad days. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s something that can instantly relieve your symptoms.
But it’s important to remember that daily walks aren’t going to magic your mental illness away. Seeking professional help, whether that’s through therapy or medication, is what will really help make things better.
You can see all the available mental health supports here.
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