Walking to Improve Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is your confidence in your own worth or abilities. Some think of it as self-respect, self-regard or pride. Basically it is your overall sense of self-worth and personal value. If you have too little you can become depressed or fall into destructive or abusive situations. If you have too much you may feel entitled and have an inability to learn from your mistakes.
Self-esteem and self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses is important for successful relationships. And, you need successful relationships between you and your children, spouse, siblings and employer or employees.
Your self-esteem is also tied to your mood, or how you feel about yourself and your situation. And each of these components are part of your overall mental and emotional health. Sometimes you need help from a mental health professional to improve your self-awareness, and at other times you just need a bit of blue, green and yellow.
In a study published in 2012 in Perspectives in Public Health, researchers compared individuals who experienced a range of mental health problems and who were exercising inside and those who were taking walks in the countryside or urban parks. What they found was simply amazing. Although exercise of any type has the potential to improve mood, those who were exercising in a more green environment experienced greater improvements in self-esteem and mood. (1)
In another study the researchers found that just 5 minutes in a green environment could improve mental health and self-esteem. The study evaluated the results of 1250 people from the UK in 10 different studies and found that the strongest impact was on younger people. (2)
During a walk through a green environment you can experience the power of connecting with yourself and what your body is capable of completing. Pushing yourself against something hard is challenging and rewarding. Achieving your goal can boost your confidence, above experiencing the effects of the sun and the wind.
Walking will also help you to reduce your stress level. The physical actiity will stimulate your brain so you feel younger, happier and more relaxed. Exercising and walking regularly can also improve your overall health, reduce fat and help you lose weight. Each of these factors will also help to elevate your mood.
(1) Perspectives in Public Health: Exercise-, nature- and socially interactive-basedinitiatives improvemood and self-esteem in the clinical population
(2) BBC: Green Exercise Boosts Mental Health
Active: How to Boost Your Self-Esteem
MayoClinic: Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
Primary Care Companion Journal of clinical Pyschiatry: Exercise for Mental health
ABC: Outdoor Exercise can Boost Self-Esteem
Anxiety and Drepression Association of America: Exercise for Stress and Anxiety
Psychology Today: Self-Esteem