The study showed that even 12 minutes of walking a day have a positive effect on a person’s mood.
A study in which scientists claim that just 12 minutes of walking a day, even without the sun, views of nature, social contacts or music can improve your mood.
A study in which scientists measured the effects of walking on mood showed that it is not necessary to walk miles to feel better. Just 12 minutes of walking a day, even without the sun, views of nature, social contacts or music. This is claimed by the co-authors of the study, Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Zlatan Krizan, who say that this may be related to the fact that man in evolutionary terms associated movement with finding food (whether it was people who went hunting, or those who picked the fruits).
Researchers make three experiments to examine how walking evokes positive emotions. In the first experiment, a group of students walked around campus while the control group watched a video or viewed photos. Those who walked the campus felt stronger positive emotions – joy, enthusiasm and energy, while the other who watched the video noted a decrease in attention and a worse mood.
In the second experiment, students completed the walk and had to write an essay, which was conceived as additional pressure. But that essay did not diminish the positive benefits of walking. The mood of the students who walked was still more positive compared to those who did not walk.
The third experiment involved students who walked on a racetrack, away from nature. Even they noticed good results from walking, compared to participants who did not walk at all.
Another study by researchers at Iowa State University found that walking and being kind to the people we meet can also help us feel happier, more connected, and less anxious, with a high dose of empathy.
“Walking and being kind to others increases happiness and feelings of social connection,” says Douglas Gentile, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University. It’s a simple strategy that doesn’t take a lot of time and is easy to incorporate into daily commitments, he adds.
A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies tested the benefits of three techniques designed to reduce anxiety and increase happiness or well-being. These are:
Love and Kindness: This technique involves looking at the people around you and thinking, ‘I want this person to be happy.’
Interconnectedness: This technique involves looking at people and thinking about possible ways you are connected. For example, students might think about the hopes and feelings of the children with whom they share a class.
Descending social comparison: This technique involves observing the people around you and thinking about how they are worse than the people around them.
The study also included a control group of students who were instructed to look at people and focus on what they saw from the outside. For example, they were asked to record clothes, color combinations, textures, and makeup and accessories they had with them. Students from all groups were interviewed before and after the walk to measure levels of anxiety, happiness, stress, empathy, and connection.
The researchers found that those who practiced kindness or wished others well felt happier. Those who practiced the interconnection technique were more empathetic and more connected than the other groups. Those who practiced the social comparison technique showed no benefit and were inferior to those who practiced the love and kindness technique. Those who compared themselves to the worse felt less compassionate, caring, and connected than others.
“Basically, a social comparison down is a competitive strategy, which means we can’t benefit from it, and a competitive mindset is associated with stress, anxiety, and depression,” says Dawn Sweet, co-author of the study.
– Practicing the love and kindness strategy works by reducing stress and increasing feelings of happiness, empathy and a sense of social connection, says Lanmiao He, a psychology student who assisted the scientists in this study.