Good Walk is based on the findings of several different studies in to happiness. Its a simple idea but it really works. Learn more about how to go for a Good Walk and the details behind the idea.
GO FOR A GOOD WALK
The first step of a Good Walk is going outside and taking a walk. Walking outside provides fresh air, sunshine and exercise - all proven to make people happier. What's more, walking is an activity that almost anyone can do without having to buy any equipment or take any classes.
The University of Sussex conducted research with 20,000 people in England and discovered that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather contributes the most to a person’s good mood.
Exposure to sunlight, exercising and spending time in nature have all been shown to release a hormone called serotonin, which has been linked with boosting moods, as well as helping a person feel calm and focused.
Research published in the Journal of Health Psychology showed that in a study of 400 people, exercising for just 7 minutes a day made them more relaxed, improved their brainpower, and made them feel better about themselves.
A study at Scripps College in California found that a 10 minute walk outside can boost a persons mood for 2 hours. The same study found that people who fit 10 minutes of activity in to their day think better, remember better and have better reactions times.
Studies from both the University of Colorado and the University of Utah found that a 30 minute walk a day can reduce the symptoms of depression by 36%.
Scientists also know that exercising releases a chemical called endorphins. This reduces the perception of pain and triggers a positive feeling in the body similar to morphine.
In addition to cultivating happiness, walking has many health benefits including reducing the chance of a stroke by 30%, reducing the chances of diabetes by 29% and cutting the risk of obesity by 50%.
A 20 minute walk is enough to give the benefits of a Good Walk and should be short enough to fit in to a busy day.
In summary, the combination of sunlight and exercise when going for a walk outside will make you feel happier.
WITH GOOD PEOPLE
The next part of a Good Walk is to have a companion on your walk. Spending time with other people and maintaining good relationships has been shown to increase happiness.
An 80 year study at Harvard University found people with good social connections were happier, felt more cared for, and lived longer.
A study 2019 published in the journal PLOS ONE found that strong social circles had a bigger link to reduced stress, increased happiness and better well-being than physical activity, heart rate and sleep.
Spending time with other people has been shown to release the "love hormone" oxytocin which can reduce loneliness and anxiety.
In short, the benefits of a Good Walk are amplified by taking it with someone else.
TALK ABOUT GOOD THINGS
The final element of a Good Walk is to talk about "good things" as you walk. Talking about good things has been linked to increased happiness. Make a point to only discuss about good, positive, topics on your Good Walk. Talk about something that made you smile. Talk about something you are grateful for. Talk about something you are excited about. Save moaning, complaining, whining or anything negative for another time.
Research has shown that recalling happy memories triggers the same feelings of happiness as when you first experienced it.
Researchers at Michigan State University found that people who cultivated positive thoughts by focusing on good things were more engaged in their work and had better moods.
Multiple studies have found that people who express gratitude on a regular basis have increased happiness, improved life satisfaction and decreased depressive symptoms.
Expressing gratitude has been shown to release the mood stabilizer serotonin.
Laughter has been shown to release the chemical endorphines which helps with depression, anxiety and mood swings.
The following questions should help stimulate "good talk" on your Good Walk.
• "What is something that made you smile?"
• "What are you grateful for?"
• "What are you looking forward to?"
If you have kids on your Good Walk get them to tell you: "I had fun when…," "I am glad that…" and "I am excited about…"
In conclusion, talking about "good things" will help make you happier.
A Good Walk is a simple idea that really can help you cultivate happiness in your life. It’s as easy as going for a good walk, with good people and discussing good things. In summary go for a Good Walk, with good people and talk about good things. It's that simple.
Try and take a Good Walk every day. If the weather isn’t conducive to walking outside, then walk inside with someone and talk about good things. If your schedule doesn’t align with a companion then go for a walk by yourself and think good thoughts to yourself. If you have a dog, take them for a Good Walk, research shows people with pets are generally happier.
The benefits of a Good Walk can be felt in just 10 minutes, so lack of time should never be an excuse. A good walk is good for building team cohesiveness, it's a good way to spend quality family time, it's a good activity to do with your partner and it's a good way to turn a bad day around. Put it on the calendar. Invite a friend. Set a reminder on your phone. Post an open invite on social media for your friends. Do it at lunchtime or after dinner every day.. It’s worth the effort, a Good Walk really will make you happier.
Disclaimer. The organizers of Good Walk are not trained guides or therapists. Participants assume all responsibility for their own safety and happiness while on a Good Walk.