Mind, Body, and Soul is sponsored content.
A mental health expert says that healing can come from simply walking and it helps heal the body and the soul.
"There is a wooded river trail that I walk daily. There are times when I begin my walk with something very upsetting on my mind. I rant and rave, mostly in my head, and sometimes I say things out loud," says Terry Warburton, the Clinical Director of Recover of Hope Counselling in Winnipeg.
Whether she is feeling overwhelmed emotionally, or she has a physical issue, Warburton has found there are many benefits to getting outside for a walk.
"Walking helps me to feel and explore what is going on inside of me. Once I’ve felt and expressed the intensity of what I was feeling, a sense of relief often comes. I gain perspective, maybe seeing my part of the problem or my own selfishness. Walking can heal us from how we’re feeling. I am grateful that the trees keep my secrets, but am particularly grateful that they provide me with a safe place to feel and express myself."
Warburton, as a woman of faith, shares how she sees the connection of walking with healing in the Bible.
"Jesus walked everywhere. If you were to map all of the places he went, he wasn’t particularly organized and time-efficient in how He did his trips. He didn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry though, enjoying the journey as much as getting there. He had time to connect with His disciples," she says.
Slowing down allows us to notice things that in our busy schedules we may have previously missed, according to Warburton.
"In slowing down, we notice our own thoughts and feelings in a way that we had previously been too busy to do. Sometimes this can be uncomfortable. Our busyness can keep us from paying attention to ourselves. But listening to ourselves is an important part of living a full life as a human being. Listening to the good, bad and the ugly, all the parts of ourselves."
Spring is the perfect time to walk as the new life in all the living things is a physical sign people can reflect on.
"We have just come through the dead of winter. When you look at the trees and fields, they look like there is no life them. But we know that the reality of spring is in each tree, each living thing. I am grateful to live somewhere that has four distinct seasons. There is something very special about spring. New life where there seemed to be months of deadness, the buds on the trees, the beautiful shade of fresh spring green that will soon take over the brown that is all around us."
Warburton encourages people to look at nature as they walk, to notice the changes taking place.
"There are strong and proven scientific links between improved mental health and walking, especially when out in nature. For those of us who have had surgeries of different kinds, what is the first thing the doctors want us to do? They want us to get you up and walk. In most cases, whatever we are struggling with, walking will almost always help us to heal."