How to make life more like a walk in the park.....
Has there ever been an angrier time than the present day?
The Dark Ages were hardly a bed of roses but, back then the Internet didn’t exist, meaning folk were generally unaware whether their neighbour had suffered a bad day at the slaughterhouse.
Yes, for all the marvellous advances made over the past 20 years, the 21st Century really is the golden age of rage and fury.
Road rage, air rage, supermarket rage and online trolling are all part and parcel of modern life. Add to that the fact that life, fuelled by the endless possibilities of technology, is busier than our ancestors could imagine then there is no wonder that so many of us are showing signs of stress.
Thankfully, unlike previous generations, many of us feel that we can talk about whatever it is that is dragging us down and more and more of us are seeking either professional help or, at the very least, are confiding in our loved ones. Thirty-odd years after Bob Hoskins first coined the phrase, we have finally cottoned on that it really is good to talk. Letting it all hang out over a pint or even a cuppa and a Hob Nob has certainly helped me during the darker periods of my life.
But now experts believe that, as well as talking, it is also good to walk, after a study revealed the positive effect of stretching one’s legs, preferably where there is a bit of greenery on offer.
Scientists have reported that a walk for 20 to 30 minutes, enabling you to get up close and personal with nature, will lower our bodies’ stress hormones by up to 10 per cent, which to a layman like me, sounds like the difference between surviving another day at the coalface and telling your workmates what you really think about them.
But, remember, a rapid dart to the pub or the bookies won’t cut it - the medical world really wants us to get out more and visit our parks and green spaces. If you are aphysician then this study, if you take it at face value, is the classic case of killing two birds with one stone because encouraging more of us to get off our backsides can only do us good when it comes to fighting on the frontline of the battle of the bulge.
To be fair, the prescription of a walk within tranquil surroundings, could come from the first chapter of the Little Book of Common Sense, given what we already know about the powerful effects of a stroll. The trouble is, I don’t remember the last time that I had the chance to walk anywhere by myself, when there wasn’t a turbocharged little person attempting to scale the nearest evergreen or befriend any devil dogs which might be within a half mile radius.
Genteel walks are off limits to most parents, which is too bad when you consider what having children can do to the stress levels.
But we do need to applaud the medical profession for continuing to remind us that, while it is easy to become overwhelmed by life, putting it right doesn’t always have to be rocket science.
If getting away from it all, including our phones, for as little as 20 minutes alleviates some of our daily anxieties then we really do need to shout about that, rather than getting angry at the world.