Nature's Healing Benefits Walk and talk therapy adds the healing elements of nature & exercise.
Exercise is good for our bodies and exercise causes the release of endorphins, chemicals in your brain that can:
act as a sedative and
even decrease the brain's perception of pain.
Just 21 Minutes
Dr. Drew Ramsey, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University has found that just 21 minutes of exercise can often have a calming effect.He reports that exercise can have an almost immediate positive effect as an antidote to anxiety and depression.
Decrease Anxiety and Elvate Mood
Today many people experience clinical or intermittent anxiety or depression. Often times people who are struggling with problems in a relationship also experience anxiety or depression. Talk therapy, medication, or a combination are successful forms of treatment. Walking while doing therapy can add not only physical, but also psychological benefits. Knowing that you are doing something positive for yourself, moving forward, both emotionally and physically can be very beneficial.Exercising in a gym or at home is great, but based on many studies, exercising in nature can have an additional benefit.
Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry conducted a review of related studies and found that most trials showed outdoor exercisers experienced a more positive effect than indoor exercisers. Those exercising outdoors reported:
feeling more revitalized,
less anger and
Outdoor participants also reported that they were more likely to exercise at a later date. One study found that even having images of nature in hospital rooms hastened the recovery of patients following surgery.
The Bankers Hill neighborhood and Balboa Park are great places for walking sessions. Scripps Ranch also offers great paths among the eucalpytus trees for walking sessions.
We all experinece feeling rejected at some point. It may be a small thing that is easy to overlook. Or it may be something more significant, like feeling ignored by your partner, or something hurtful said during an argument. Rejection can hurt. In fact, brain scans show stimulation in the same part of your brain with rejection as with physical pain.
You can’t completely avoid the pain of rejection, but you can have some control over how much and how long it hurts. In relationships, it is important to explore the your partners emotions that may be driving the words or actions that feel like rejection. Following are some ways to avoid making the pain worse.
Don’t Turn the Criticism on Your Self
Instead of negatively labeling or blaming yourself, it can be helpful to realistically look at what happened. That is constructive thinking and not destructive to your mood and self-image. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend who had suffered rejection.
Revive your Sense of Self-Esteem
When you suffer a rejection, you can raise your sense of self-esteem or self-worth by emotionally supporting yourself. Focusing on your positive qualities, those that make you a good person, friend or partner can reduce your pain and help you feel more confident.
Focus on Social Connections
Rejection can threaten your feeling of being accepted by and connected to others. Your initial impulse when you are sensing rejection may be to withdraw from others. But reaching out and socializing with friends and family can be a more positive response. jwhg
In Your Relationship
If you feel a sense of rejection as a result of something your partner has done or said, or by a lack of attention or interaction, it is important to let them know how you are interpreting what happened and how you are feeling about what happened. Checking in with them and getting some clarity is important. Sometimes what looks like rejection, for instance when your partner doesn't seem to be paying attention or hearing you, might be preoccupation or, stress. Or your partner may be feeling disconnected and unsure how to reach out to you.
Taking the first step of believing that you have some control over how you react to percieved rejection can begin the process of feeling more in control, of acknowledging your strengths, and taking positive action.
A lot of time and energy has been spent trying to figure out what happens between that hopeful wedding day and a marriage ending in divorce. 86% of 18 to 20 year-olds in a Clark University study thought their marriages would last a lifetime. Not as many as that do last.Experts estimate today that between 40 percent and 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce.
Some common risk factors for relationships that have been identified:
Partners marrying at a young age
Stress in life
Mental health problems
Addiction or substance abuse
Demanding schedules that leave little time for partners to spend together
Some of these factors are beyond your control, but there are things that you can do in increase the changes that your marriage will last.
The early excitement of the relation can fade and boredom can set in. Boredom can be avoided if couples participate in novel activities together. Trying new things together also helps bring back some of that early excitement. Exciting dates and new activities such as traveling to new places, hiking or learning to dance or speak a new language together helps couples stay interested in each other and the relationship. More mundane dates like staying home to watch a movie do less to keep the excitement alive.
Supporting your partner when he or she is in distress is also important. John Gottman, Ph.D. found that support in good times may cause your partner to feel better about themselves and the relationship than similar support during a negative event. Gottman believes that partners may not appreciate the support as much because in bad times, because they are distracted by thier own distress in the situation. This effect seems to be more obvious with male partners.
Maintaining frequent connection with your partner helps maintain interest and closeness. Connecting during the day with a call, or giving a caress or hug when you see each other can relay a message of love and caring. Small, frequent, sincere affirmations of your affection can lower your changes of divorce.
Taking care when you argue kindly, to avoid blaming or trying to find the bad guy. Also, try to avoid launching into personal attacks in arguments. Keeping the focus on trying to resolve the present issue, rather than bringing in all past mistakes and transgressions. This makes it more likely that the issues will actually get resolved at the end of the argument. Avoid name calling and saying things that you don't mean. Gottman also identified disgust as one of the most reliable indicators of a relationship's future failure. Resolving issues when they come up, and remembering to see yourself and your partner as fighting together to resolve issues, instead of fighting against each other to prove who is right, is a good way to avoid letting animosity build up and turn to disgust.
Slowing down conversations and checking for meaning, instead of making assumptions, can avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Dr. Sue Johnson has done extensive research on couples and has found that couples often say something in anger, or withdraw from their partner when things are not going well. Making assumptions about what your partner is thinking or feeling can leave both partners feeling lonely and hurt. Instead of striking back or withdrawing too, taking the time to gently explore what is really going on often gets to some unexpressed pain or fear that you can then talk about with your partner.
Being a good listener, empathizing with your partner, and responding genuinely helps each person feel heard and supported.
Every relationship will be exposed to stress, financial issues, and most couples will argue from time to time. But, taking the time to reach out, be curious, supportive and kind, can help you avoid some of the risks and improve your changes for happily ever after.
Call me with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
References: Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, PhD John Gottman, PhD Susan Johnson, PhD
Y N My partner and I spend time together talking about our day.
Y N When I feel unsure or in need of comfort, I feel that I can turn to my partner and he/she will take time to listen to me, and offer me comfort and reassurance.
Y N I am also there for my partner in a similar way.
Y N When my partner or I leave or arrive at home, we kiss and hug, or greet each other in a way that is meaningful, and helps us reconnect.
Y N I know that I am important to my partner, and even when we fight, I know that we will be O.K. together.
Y N I am able to have fun when my partner and we participate in activities together.
Y N I am comfortable discussing this questionnaire with my partner.
This quiz is designed to encourage thinking and conversation about how connected you are feeling in your relationship. It also describes some ways that couples maintain connection. Devoting just a few minutes of undivided attention to discuss your relationship can send a strong message of “I care and I want to work to change things.”
This quiz is not a substitute for therapy. Sometimes it can be helpful to have someone neutral listen to you and your partner, to help you understand the places where you might be feeling stuck, and to start working together to strengthen your relationship. I am here to help you with that.