May is National Walking Month: Walk Your Way to Better Overall Health with Walk and Talk Counselling
Walking for Health
Walking is a simple, accessible and free way to exercise which we know improves our physical and cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles and bones, and supports healthy weight management. Walking can also help our mental health by reducing stress, improving mood, sleep and focus to boost our overall wellbeing - think back to just a few years ago - our daily walk during lockdown became such an important support for so many of us.
Walking for Better Sleep
Aerobic exercises such as walking releases our feel-good chemicals ‘endorphins’, which can help relieve pain and reduce stress levels. Endorphins are most commonly associated with exercise and regular exercise supports an increase in the amount of deep sleep we get, allowing the brain and body to rest and recuperate to energise us to cope with our days and improve our mood.
A change of scenery, placing emphasis on the present moment, taking in the views, taking one step at a time, focusing on the sensory experience with new sights, sounds and perhaps even smells - walking can be a mindful activity which grounds us in the here and now and deactivates our stress response to create feelings of wellbeing.
Whilst we are aware that our well-being is more than just our physical health, many people feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help when struggling emotionally with their mental health. Many people find the idea of sitting opposite someone whilst pouring their hearts out overwhelming and quite intimidating.
It's important to remember that talking to a professional is different to talking to our loved ones. Whether indoors, outdoors or online, counselling provides a confidential, non-judgemental space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings in order to work through any challenges or obstacles that you may be facing. Through counselling you can express what it is you are truly feeling without fear of judgement or expectation. Whether you're dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or any other mental health concern, a trained counsellor can provide you with the support and guidance you need to overcome these challenges and find a path through.
Walk and Talk Counselling
Walk and Talk Counselling combines the power of counselling with the power of walking, quite literally taking counselling outdoors. We walk together, side by side - removing the potential intensity of eye contact and the enclosed environment. You can share what you want to share, in your own time. You are supported every step of the way as we build trust and your feelings are honoured, nurtured and handled with care whilst we take inspiration from the natural world around us to work together to understand them.
As with many new activities, the most challenging aspect is getting started. So, if you're looking for a simple and effective way to increase your step count and support your mental health this National Walking Month, why not supercharge the physical and emotional benefits and give walk-and-talk counselling a try?