Before You Do Something You Dread, Do This

I love taking walks. I don’t live in the most picturesque neighborhood, but I still love strolling around and seeing the incremental changes several times a week. I am usually in a better mood when I get home. In fact, walking in natural surroundings has been shown to have a positive affect on mood by several studies.

But a new study shows that even walking in dull surroundings lifts the spirit. Walking on a treadmill or through a drab campus building also made study participants feel calmer and more energetic. Even participants who were told they would have to write a two-page essay about their experience had a better mood than they did before the walk. It’s interesting that Dr. Jeff Miller, one of the study’s coauthors, said that “Thinking, ‘I still have to do 2,000 more steps today’ encourages you to do it, and that is beneficial not only for your health, but also for your ability to engage with the environment.” In my experience, I kept competing against my previous day’s “score” and the step counter became an added stress.

I’m always interested in the ways the body influences the mind, and vice versa. I have observed that my minor aches and pains are soothed by both walking and being in a good mood. And dreaded tasks certainly seem easier when you’re in a good place mentally. I have a bit of data entry I need to knock out this afternoon so maybe I’ll get some steps in first.

Now for some cozy things I liked today:

Cooking video of the day: Pho Bo (Vietnamese beef noodle soup)

Long read of the day: The Guardian has an article on the conflicts between those who want to exploit national parks commercially and those who want to conserve the wild land

Interior of the day:


Coastal Australian room found here


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