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Why you have to walk in Central Park

By on October 1, 2014
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Let’s face it, New York is stressful. Having just returned from a family vacation in England, where quiet streets wind through medieval towns, and cows graze bucolically in the surrounding fields, we immediately felt the stress of New York’s crowded streets, honking horns, and equally stressed residents.

The thing that makes New York such a wonderful city, perhaps more than the art, the theater, the food, is Central Park. The Park provides an oasis of calm in the center of Manhattan that all New Yorkers appreciate.

While we all know that walking in the park is beneficial to your state of mind, it’s always nice to have some brain boffins somewhere do the research and have it officially ‘proved’. Wait long enough and someone will come up with a novel way of testing the most obvious fact, and they have.

Researchers at Edinburgh University in Scotland wired up volunteers with EEGs and sent them round the city to various urban environments from parks to commercial areas to shopping areas and measured their brain activity as they walked. Not surprisingly they found that strolling through gentle woodland is much more relaxing!

What has this got to do with hypnosis, NLP and coaching I hear you ask. Think about this in terms of NLP’s Logical Levels or Tree of Life Coaching; the first (lowest) level is the physical environment in which we live. Live in a stressful environment and your clients will likely suffer more stress, no matter how many times they visit you for a relaxing hypnosis session. Get them out and about, walking in nature is probably the most beneficial exercise for body, mind and spirit that we know.

Here’s an article from the New York times backing us up on this:

 When the volunteers made their way through the urbanized, busy areas, particularly the heavily trafficked commercial district at the end of their walk, their brain wave patterns consistently showed that they were more aroused and frustrated than when they walked through the parkland, where brain-wave readings became more meditative. h/t nytimes.com

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