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Get Mind Fit With Green Exercise

We know deep in our bones, in the depths where our intuition resides, that we feel better when we are outdoors. We feel good being in nature. Whilst being physical on a walk or something a little up-tempo is great, it’s the sounds of the bush, the salty breeze as you walk by the beach, the dappled sunlight dancing through the trees, and the cool breeze on your face.

These things provide comfort, relieve our stress, and anxiety and help us to relax.

Connecting with the natural elements restores our moods, gives us energy and rejuvenates us so that we can think more clearly and live more balanced.

Nature can also test our resilience. It can provide a platform for growth and mental fitness when we choose to challenge ourselves. This can be a hike in the rain, a multi-day pack hike, a cold ocean swim or something that asks a little more of you. That pushes you to the edge of your comfort zone and then takes you on a journey past it.

It’s like a workout for your mind. Mind Fit.

(Partnering with MYNDFIT - read more about what Nick offers here for some serious brain training. Portrait of the man himself below)

The Alarming Statistics about our Mental Disorders

According to WHO (World Health Organisation), in 2019, 1 in every 8 people in the world were living with a mental disorder. Mental disorders are significant disturbances in thinking, emotional regulation, or behaviour, with anxiety and depressive disorders the most common.

No surprise that in 2020 that the number of people living with anxiety and depressive disorders rose significantly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO estimates a 26% and 28% increase respectively for anxiety and major depressive disorders in just one year.

WHO states, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Building resilience and having a supportive environment helps to promote balanced mental health and reduce risks associated with mental disorders.

(read more on the statistics here)

So what is it about being in nature that can restore our mood, refresh our state of mind, rejuvenate and improve our energy?

Spending time in nature has scientifically been proven to reduce anxiety, and depression whilst improving our immune system, energy levels, and overall wellbeing. Our modern society and way of life – comfort seeking – induces the anxiety we feel. When we seek comfort, we often numb out with a drink, or TV or distract ourselves on our devices.

From climate anxiety to cost-of-living stress, and personal and or relationship problems, the pressure and mental load from such apprehension need an outlet. Nature.

Instinctually there is a feeling that arises within us that provides a sense of elation, a sense of beauty and mystery of the world in which we live in. We have all, at one time or another, watching the sunset over the horizon and marveled at the beauty. This innate sense is what is considered our sixth sense.

Our senses connect us to the present moment; this is where we can escape the rumination of the past (depression) and anxiety or stress of future events that we create in our minds. To be present and aware through our sense of touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight, helps us to achieve a balance in the state of mind and physiologically, our bodies function better.

Blokes from the past Men's Myndful Weekend atop Mt Wilson, Wilsons Prom. A great mental challenge with great rewards.

In order to build resilience, and mental fitness, we need to give our brains some resistance.

Taking a hike is a great way to develop our mental health. In order to overcome the challenges on the train, be it a climbing ascent, river crossing or pack hike, pushing ourselves through the experience will develop mental strength.

Resilience as we know is the ability to keep going despite hardships, face difficult moments and ride the waves of life’s ups and downs. Resilience isn’t just the ability to persevere but can be considered an outlook we can cultivate within to focus on the important things in life, rather than we swept away in the most urgent or negative emotions.

We feel better about ourselves when we are in the natural environment with effects felt immediately. I know when I’m feeling a little off, a walk outside is always the perfect reset I need to get my mind fit, and back in balance so I can get on with my day.

I understand that this isn’t the case for everyone so if you feel that you are struggling, please seek professional help. Below is a short list of support services;

To read more about the benefits of green exercise, nature, and hiking for our mental health:

Mental Health Support line

Target Group: Adults and young people

Phone: 1300 22 4636 (24 Hrs)


Mental Health Support line

Target Group: Adults and young people

Phone: 13 11 14 (24 Hrs)

Suicide Call Back Service

Mental Health Support and Referral line.

Target Group: Adults and young people

Phone: 1300 659 467 (24 Hrs)

Tandem Support and Referral Line

Information, support, advocacy or referral for family members or friends who are supporting a person with mental health issues.

Target Group: Adults and young people

Phone: 1800 314 325

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