Hiking Pack; Depression and Mood Changes During Backpack Hiking

Hiking pack nature jaunts are becoming more therapeutic as evidence mounts to the fact that exposure to nature has a direct link to mental health. This is the reason why more hiking and nature trails at the outskirts of large cities are offering urban hiking areas.  City residents are known to have a 20% higher risk of anxiety and an alarming 40% increased risk of mood disorders when compared to rural dwellers.  Have you ever wondered why you love watching sunsets and feel happier when the sun shines?  Let’s examine the premise that hiking can be used as a means of controlling depression and mood disorders during a backpack hike.

Research Proves Nature Impacts Your Mood

Check out the findings here:  https://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/30/hiking-mental-health-063015/

Stanford conducted a study of two groups of people, some exposed to natural outdoor nature settings and others to urban traffic areas for a period of ninety minutes. Those in the urban areas showed significantly different findings.  Researchers conducting the study measured heart and respiration rates and performed brain scans both before and after the walks.  The participants also filled out questionnaires.

Grab A Backpack And Find Your Own Hiking Discoveries

Hiking pack trekkers don’t really need a scientific research study to discover how or if their mood improves while they’re hiking. Naysayers may scoff at the idea of insects, exercise and fears of many kinds to talk themselves out of even trying a first time hike. Negativity is just some folks middle name no matter what the situation bears.  It should also be pointed out that just because you head out hiking, it does not mean you no longer have to take anti-depression medication.  Everyone’s situation is different.

The kind of anxiety and depression that can be directly affected is from daily life that just about everyone faces.  Work, family, finances and relationship pressures affect the brain in a negative way.  Studies have proven that there is a direct psychological benefit to hiking in nature, even if just for an hour or two.  Have you ever had your mood change after a gloomy miserable day when the sun comes out?  Have you experienced awe when noticing a rainbow or a field of wildflowers in full bloom?  Do you get excited by the glorious change of colors in Fall or the way sunlight sparkles like diamonds across water?  That is the connection between nature and positivity on the human brain.

Pretty Versus Ugly While Trekking In Nature

OK, so you determine you like rainbows and sunshine, but you are not crazy about mosquitoes and peeing in the woods. Fear and negativity can cripple you and become a catalyst for never trying anything new.  Backpack hiking is completely different from sitting on your local park bench hoping to catch a few rays.  There is very little to discover, except maybe a pigeon or two and a child playing with a ball.  Once you hit the trail with a hiking backpack, you are on a journey with incredible observations right before your eyes.  You can wear bug spray and conquer other outdoor worries if you really want to. 

Why not check into local hiking groups to tag along with until you feel comfortable going solo?  Alleviate your apprehensions by advice, experience and how others handle similar nervousness.  The unknown is always scary, so doesn’t it make sense to dispel your concerns so that you are more open-minded to the benefits of hiking with a trekking backpack.

Find a local group where you live here:  https://www.meetup.com/topics/hiking/

Hikers Brains Perceive Nature In Many Positive Ways

Hiking pack trips have been researched in a growing field of ecotherapy and found that there is a very strong connection between time in nature and stress related ailments. The therapeutic benefits of hiking eliminates the constant loop of negative thoughts that take over your brain when you are stressed, anxious or just feeling blue. The calming of nature sounds, such as a running brook, bird calls or leaves blowing in a breeze helps focus the brain on positivity and pleasantness..  Even the greenery and trees calms Cortisol stress levels and lowers blood pressure. The pleasing visual stimulation you experience as you walk the hiking trail has significant tranquil effects on your mind.

Rethink your connection to tech devices and constant exposure to people and negativity.  There is incredible value in quality alone time or with a friend or spouse when you hike together.  It’s good for both of you to disconnect from the daily grind to reconnect with nature and each other. Being in a nature setting will affect your emotions, tranquility and peacefulness.

 How Much Hiking Time Helps Stress?

You may feel that it’s stressful just trying to carve time out to go hiking and pack the stuff you need. Next thing you know, you've talked yourself out of going.  You’re doing yourself a disservice if you let this happen. In the fast paced world we live in, you owe it to yourself to do all you can to bring serenity and peace into your life the same way exercise is healthy for the body.  And yes, hiking is incredibly good exercise, even on a short hike.  The gift of 20-30 minutes a minimum of three days a week is beneficial beyond measure.  Adding a weekend in the woods of hiking and camping overnight every month adds even more value to your healthy state of mind.

Trekkers Can De-Stress With Nature's Sight And Sounds

Can you honestly say you would not benefit from a mood boost?  Life can get you down, but being in the great outdoors changes that. It is the best means for lifting morale and creating a positive vibe as you hike.  There’s a reason why white noise machines are sold with nature sounds of water, birds, rain and wind. The sights and sounds you experience while nature hiking can be of great benefit. Only hearing the sounds without seeing what you are hearing is not going to give you the best results. Get outdoors and enjoy the earth with everything it has to offer.  Sun, clouds, rain and greenery all have positive impact.   Nature Trail Backpacks wishes everyone good health and happy hiking!

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