The Happiness Hunter doesn’t just facilitate walks for a chance for people to connect with their community in a safe and supportive space, we also know walking outside can have deeper effects.
Studies recorded in the journal article Underestimating Nearby Nature found that outdoor walks in nature made participants much happier than indoor walks did.
“Our findings suggest a happy path to sustainability, whereby contact with nature fosters individual happiness and environmentally responsible behaviour.”
It’s all about connection
The article states that the pleasant moods experienced when outside surrounded by nature can help increase a sense of connection and even spike environmental concerns, as we feel protective over our beautiful natural world. With all the man-made urban environments we live in, it is sometimes hard of us to pinpoint why we may be feeling a bit out of sorts, or disconnected. You may have noticed when you were on holiday out on a boat for a few days on the water, or camping in the bush, that you felt refreshed or rejuvenated. You were able to find space and a sense of vastness that allowed you to think and organise your thoughts, maybe you even felt calmer and more relaxed. These can all be benefits of spending more time in nature.
An Ecopsychology article states that in addition to its benefits for mental wellbeing, ‘The psychological construct of nature connectedness has been associated with several psychopathy-relevant traits including agreeableness, perspective-taking, and empathic concern’. The study shows that as humans, we need nature to be able to bring out our best traits and have awareness and a better understanding of each other's suffering.
Walking for moving meditation
There has been researching conducted to prove that immersing oneself in nature can help to relieve anxiety and depression, boost empathy and improve cognition. The Japanese Forest Bathing theory looks into this research and Japan's government has funded about $4 million in forest-bathing research since 2004, with a goal of designating 100 official nature trails for this purpose. Forest bathing is about walking in nature and allowing yourself to reconnect to our outside world, taking it all in through our five senses: Touch, Smell, Taste, Hear, See. The research supports scientists to measure the effects of the cells and neurons during this experience in nature. Research, led by Yoshifumi Miyazaki from the University of Chiba and Qing Li from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, uses field tests, hormone analysis, and new brain-imaging technology to uncover how the benefit from these trails works on a molecular level.
Although the Happiness Hunter walks are not through beautiful Japanese forests dedicated to this purpose, they usually take place near an equally as beautiful Australian coastline or bush track.
There is evidence that walking with a group of people in nature has many positive benefits including:
- Helps to promote regular physical activity
- Walking increases fitness levels, supports weight loss, lowers blood pressure, and can boost your mood
- Group walking can help to engage people who are interested in spending time outdoors
- The social aspect of walking groups can help to encourage and sustain a positive attitude towards physical activity
- Fosters companionship and a shared experience of wellness
What do the Happiness Hunter walks involve?
The Happiness Hunter walks are a great way to kick off your morning on a positive note! Connect with others on a much deeper level, move your body, still your mind, have weekly accountability and support, learn from others and be challenged on your beliefs and points of view.
The weekly walks provide our community with an opportunity to learn from a Happiness Hunter coach, ask questions and discuss challenges you are facing in your everyday life in a positive and empowered way. To find out more, visit our Walks page here.
Rather than work-life balance, our philosophy is about Life Integration, which is the process of seamlessly integrating wellbeing into every element of your life. Your work is not separate to your life: your work is part of the living whole of your life.
The Happiness Hunter is based in Melbourne, with a team of coaches and consultants available across Australia.