One of the biggest questions that I am asked about, personal sessions and speaking sessions, is in relation to stress. We all have stress in our lives, but the levels are all different and so are our coping skills. One of the best ways, however, to diminish symptoms related to stress is to walk and to do so to music. Music changes the brain waves in our brains and can help us boost our chemical levels. Walking, on its own, also helps to relieve stress, tension, and keep us in shape. Walking to music is like a double dose of vitamin C for our mental health. It helps so much, even if you walk for ten minutes a day- although, I recommend thirty minuets and at a reasonable pace.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking,” said philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Walking actually increases blood flow to your brain and the music helps change your frame of mind. Eventually, as you listen to the music, you will find time to consider different aspects of your problems away from the distractions of your office or home. Creative ideas and solutions may flow more easily, or you may simply hear a song that reminds you of a time that was happier or less stressful. These memories and fresh ideas promote comfort and raise the dopamine levels in your brain and blood chemistry, helping you to further relax.
Walking also burns calories and makes your body move, promoting a natural tiredness when you arrive back home. This natural tiredness can lead to better sleep, better cardio health, and a calmer you at the end or beginning of your day. Walking to music may be one of the healthiest, most holistic, things you can do for yourself besides seeking professional mental health counseling. I highly recommend it. This said, if you have any underlining physical health concerns, talk to your doctor about alternatives to walking to music. You may have to swim to music or garden to music or crossword to music. Whatever the case, finding a healthy distraction that gets you thinking and moving a little is worth it!