Why you should pack up and go for a hike.

Stop and go. Stop stressing out, stop checking your email, stop checking twitter, and go outside. Back away from work or school and go outside. Focus on the nature around you instead of the overwhelming thoughts in your head. Walk around, smell the air, and take in the peace. I have included an infographic on 12 places to go hiking in Indiana if you are unsure of some of the best places to check out.

But why? It gives you an excuse to explore a new place around you. The more time you spend outside; the more appreciation you will start to have for the little things in life. Take in the new sights, smells, and sounds. And while all of this is happening, you are exercising. A lot of people hate exercising, but when you are hiking you don’t really realize that you are because you are distracted by everything around you. So not only is it refreshing your mind and thoughts, its allowing the physical stress to leave your body.

Let your mind wander while you wander. Let the new environment around you inspire you. Re-evaluate yourself, your goals, and your outlook on life. Take what is bothering you, and investigate it further as you walk around immersed in the nature. If they exist, allow the nature to influence your problems or stresses, you may realize that they aren’t as big as what you originally thought.

Once you have dissected your problems and approached them from all directions, make a plan on how to make that better. Keep moving through the trees and along the path, and tell yourself what you are going to do to solve to the problem or work towards solving it. Don’t overwhelm yourself or rush your thoughts thinking of solutions, allow them to move through your mind as you move along the trail.

Take a picture while you are out there in the nature. Keep it, print it out, post it online, do what you want with it, but just make sure you capture the moment. So then when you have to return to reality and get back into your car and drive home, you have a picture that offers you not only a memory, but inspiration to achieve your goals, fix your problems, and go outside soon to do it all over again.