Stressed? Take a hike!


Chris lives in Austin, TX, where he once shook Willie Nelson's hand.

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26 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Even when you have to people dodge? I actually like walking and find it to be a stress reliever. When I’m agitated and having to engage in people dodging in New York, it just aggravates me though.Report

    • Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Previous studies have shown that being in high-traffic urban environments is itself pretty stressful. This study used low-traffic ones for that reason. So find a quiet street. Or if you really want to be less stressed, get the hell out of New York ;).Report

      • j r in reply to Chris says:

        Probably depends on the person. I love walking in cities. I just moved to one of the densest cities on the planet and I find it quite relaxing to walk around and observe all the activity.

        I was born and raised in New York City, though, so urban environments feel like home to me. I do love the nature as well. The place that stresses me out is the suburbs, which can make me quite anxious.Report

    • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

      People dodging is far less stressful than “illegally unleashed puppy” dodging. Particularly when dodging involves throwing punches.Report

      • Chris in reply to Kim says:

        Somehow, imagining you walking down the streets of Pittsburgh punching dogs doesn’t seem that fantastic.Report

        • Kim in reply to Chris says:

          Oh, not me… When do my stories ever actually say that I did something?
          A friend of mine, who’s been attacked multiple times by rural dogs (he took to carrying a whappin’ stick on his bike, in order to knock them unconscious while they were lunging at him — dogs are nothing if not predictable.), and who for some reason is not exactly happy with unprovoked jumping of city dogs on him from behind.Report

  2. Glyph says:

    Those that stress me out, should find a short pier.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    I’m sure that the causes are overdetermined.

    Step away from the internet.
    Step away from the television.
    Step away from the phone (meant more when we were tethered to landlines, of course).
    Spend 10-15 minutes with someone you like. Perhaps a dog. Perhaps a person *AND* a dog.
    Talk about trivial and silly things if you are with a person.
    Hold this person’s hand, if appropriate.
    Ideally, do this in a pretty place that smells good.

    Man, I’m in a better mood just writing those sentences.Report

    • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

      That sounds like a pretty good method as well.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

        I’d like to see this done a second time and compare people who walk with their smart phones and people who walk without them.

        Though we might find that the people who walk without them feel stress because they can’t check to see if anyone liked their post about how they were going for a walk.Report

        • Vikram Bath in reply to Jaybird says:

          This is actually a really good idea. You deserve a grant.Report

          • notme in reply to Vikram Bath says:

            Why not, given the federal govt already wastes money studying stupider things like lesbian obesity and senior citizen dating habits?Report

            • Francis in reply to notme says:

              Query for the community:

              Is there any reason to point out how difficult it is to get research grants out of the federal government these days, or would I just be wasting my time?

              (like that dumbass grant back in the mid-50s to support the research program proposed by Dave Keeling to monitor CO2 levels on Mauna Loa!)Report

              • greginak in reply to Francis says:

                It would likley be a waste time. Those who know how it is don’t need to be told and those who want to point at crazy looking studies don’t care. To often grants that sound crazy have good reasons and or are solid basic science, but those dont’ beat a good talking point.

                I think it was Gov Jindal who mocked fed grants for earthquake and volcano monitoring. Fun fun for someone who doesn’t get geography or geology.Report

              • notme in reply to Francis says:

                Did you ever think if the gov’t didn’t waste money on silly grants that there might me more for real science? Or are you going to tell us how important it is for the gov’t to spend $375,000 on senior citizen dating habits? It is sad that you’d rather grandstand to an audience than acknowledge that the fed gov wastes our tax money.

                There more where that came from:


              • Chip Daniels in reply to notme says:

                375 thousand dollars! Wasted? Squandered?

                Wait, hold on just a sec.
                The guys over at Halliburton and Lockheed Martin are laughing themselves silly. Something about a rounding error.Report

              • Kim in reply to notme says:

                Really? the elderly has a spreading aids problem, and you don’t care a whit? You are cold.Report

              • Kim in reply to Francis says:

                As always, it depends on the research and how creative you can be at getting the military to fund it.Report

              • rexknobus in reply to Kim says:

                I’m going to keep this vague so as not to leaves traceable artifacts.

                I worked with a medical researcher at a major university who wanted to study a specific chromosome (part of the Genome Mapping effort worldwide). Little to no funding until he found an obscure study that suggested that people who had a disease involving a fault in this chromosome had an increased resistance to radiation poisoning. After some clever grant proposing, nearly endless Department of Defense funding resulted. No restrictions, no hands-on — just money that went a long way toward mapping this particular chromosome.Report

  4. Damon says:

    I always found being in the woods relaxing, especially if exercising. Walk/hike long enough and empty your mind of all the crap that occupies it and concentrate on your steps or the sounds around you while you burn off the chemical stressors.

    Free the mind of all that crap and you find answers to things you needed but were too busy to find.Report

  5. Oscar Gordon says:

    Part of why we bought a house where we did was for the walkability of it. Not a lot of shops in immediate walking distance, but lots of sidewalks & walking paths through communities & woods.Report

  6. crash says:

    My experience is that the longer the time spent in the woods, the more dramatic and long-lasting the changes. I hiked two “long” trails, the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail, and I am of the opinion that both hikes permanently changed my mental make-up (for the better).Report

  7. D Clarity says:

    “Before gas prices became prohibitively expensive”


    Have you bought gas recently? Maybe not if you don’t own a car, I guess.

    Adjusted for inflation it is cheaper than it was in 1915, 1925, 1935, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1975 and 1985. Not quite as cheap as in 1995, cheaper than in 2005. These are the good old days.Report