Mental health charity Turn2Me encourages local public to go hiking

Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, has spoken about the mental health benefits of hiking, which include a reduction in stress levels and calming anxiety.

Turn2Me stated that being around nature can also improve our mood, so walking outside or hiking is preferable to the treadmill.

“Many people don’t feel very motivated to go for a walk or a hike when it’s miserable outside, but living in Ireland, we should expect poor weather and it shouldn’t be a deterrent if you have windproof and waterproof clothes. Absorbing the sights, smells and sounds of nature can significantly improve our mood. Although in poor weather, it can take an extra level of motivation to force yourself to leave the house, you never feel worse after a long walk or a hike. You always feel better, less tense, and more relaxed after a hike,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said.

Hiking and walking naturally boosts endorphin levels, which improve our feelings of happiness. Turn2Me stated that hiking can also improve our sleep and lower blood pressure.

A Stanford University study found that ‘people who walked for 90 minutes in a natural area/trail, as opposed to participants who walked in a high-traffic urban setting, have less ruminating and repetitive thoughts focused on negative emotions.’

Turn2Me offers adults living in Ireland up to six free counselling sessions; unlimited paid counselling sessions; and unlimited support groups on anxiety, depression, grief, and relationship issues.

To sign up for these services, go to Turn2Me.ie

 

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