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    Grumpy Mood? Go For A Walk! Okaloosa County, FL. Trails “Hidden Gems”

    So you’re in a grumpy mood! You’ve had a rough day and nothing is going right. It’s time to take action. You just can’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself all day. That won’t do any good at all. So what should you do? Well, there are plenty of things that you can do to help lift your spirits. And one of the best ways to start is by taking a walk. In fact, it’s even better than many other forms of exercise because it doesn’t require much equipment or space. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and some fresh air.

    It’s proven that walking can help you get rid of stress, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even anger. Not to mention, you can fight cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other medical conditions. And there is no more perfect place to do it than at the local wildlife trails. Your walk does not have to be a vigorous activity or some overstimulated aerobic exercise to reap benefits. If you’re looking for ways to get out of your funk, here are some reasons to walk and a few, not so known, places to visit in  Okaloosa County, Florida.

    Why does walking help change your mood?

    Walking improves your breathing which helps keep you healthy. Regular exercise and movement allow more oxygen to reach your brain and help you to think clearer. It also can increase and regulate your heart rate. For example, if someone were feeling down or low, then by raising their heart rate by walking, they’d be able to feel better about themselves. If you feel angry or upset, you can regulate your heart rate by walking in a rhythmic pattern to calm yourself down. Furthermore, it’s a change from the routine, you’re not looking through the same windows, you’re not sitting in the same seats, you’re actually outdoors enjoying the scenery. Moving activates endorphin production in our bodies, which are the happy chemical substances that make you feel good naturally. Walking also improves your mood simply because it gives you something else to focus on besides whatever has been bothering you.

    Walking help change your moodsHow long should you walk?

    Shoot for fifteen to thirty minutes is the time frame recommended by the American Heart Associa­tion for lowering your resting heart rate so that your blood pressure can be lowered naturally. There is a strong understanding that establishing a daily routine of walking (exercising) regularly helps avoid negative moods, such as grumpiness, as well as depression. You get the recommended amount of physical activity and you improve your mental health condition. It’s a win-win combo!

    How can I make the most of my walk?

    Being mindful during walks is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Try to look for things in the environment you haven’t seen before. Are the leaves changing colors on the trees? Is there a squirrel running on the powerline? Is there a butterfly near a bush you’re walking by? If you can focus on paying attention to the things going on around you and breathe deeply, you can use your grumpy walk to its fullest potential.

    Your mood changes when you walkWhere are the “hidden gems” trails in Okaloosa County, FL.?

    When you think about Okaloosa County, FL. walking trails. there are three hidden gems you should visit. These trails provide you with beautiful views, interesting wildlife and history, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. A walk is exactly what you need to get a different perspective of life. Being in nature has its own way of providing what our body needs. Being outdoors, in the natural light and incredible scenery is in its own right therapeutic.

    Turkey Creek Nature Trail

    Located in Niceville, FL. Turkey Creek Nature Trail provides an incredibly peaceful experience to walk and enjoy nature. The boardwalk takes visitors under the cover of trees for a mile-long walk where they can enjoy the wildlife habitat. The greenery of the leaves and foliage at the park frees up the mind from the busyness of everyday life. Benches are strategically placed throughout the trail so you can sit down and rest. Take a deep breath! Find the calmness you seek. And when you’ve rested after the walk, you might want to take things further by going for a swim. There are swimming areas where you can go with friends or family members. The trail is open seven days a week and the closing time is seasonal, dates and times are posted at the entrance to the trail. For more information visit the website: Turkey Creek Trail. Address: 340 W John Sims Pkwy, Niceville, FL 32578.

    Patriots’ Trail

    Located in Fort Walton Beach, FL., Patriots’ Trail is near the beaches. This walking trail is half a mile long and has a concrete pathway. Many from the community have described this as a great place to enjoy a quiet and relaxing walk. If you’re into history, you might want to check this park out for its historical significance. Bud & Dorie Day Patriots’ Trail was constructed in honor of Colonel Bud Day on May 28, 2015. He is an American Hero who was a POW during his time as a soldier in the Vietnam War. Dorie, his spouse, was an advocate for years to get him and other POWs brought back to the United States. As you walk and reflect on history take in the beauty of the area. Being present with your surrounding helps you to be appreciative and notice the littlest of details. Address: 35-39 Iowa Dr. NE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.

    Mattie Kelly Park and Nature Walk

    Located in Destin, FL. Mattie Kelly Park and Nature Walk is surrounded by what is considered wetlands and is undeveloped. Because of this, the area is a natural habitat for wildlife. Considered to be one of the least known places, perfect for an easy stroll, on the boardwalk/nature trail you’ll see wonderful sights and sounds of birds, frogs, turtles, snakes, butterflies, etc. This park is also home to many species of plants that grow naturally in Florida. It’s a perfect spot to relax and unwind. And if you want a spectacular view take your walk at sunset.  Being next to the water, taking in the sights and sounds, and feeling the wind on your face, this place is perfect for your mental health.

    Exercise helps change moodsWhat if walking IS NOT my thing?

    So walking is not your thing? That’s okay. What other form of exercise are you willing to try? Have you thought about trying something new with a partner or close friend? Join a gym membership or take swimming lessons. Go line dancing. Be adventurous! Step outside your comfort zone! Try something new! Try to look for ways to take your bad moods and turn them into good ones by replacing them with things that bring you happiness. Finally, increase your connections within the community. Those who have supportive networks tend to be healthier overall than those without them.

    Get Support From A Mental Health Professional

    Get help new heights logo phoneIf you or someone you love lacks the motivation to walk or exercise at all and has a negative view of life, then you may want to seek professional help. Many people find that seeing a therapist is helpful. They can provide support, guidance, and resources to help you deal with any issues you may be facing. Not wanting to exercise is common among depressed individuals. Depression may cause feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness. These feelings can lead people to avoid activities that require energy, like exercising. It may be helpful for you to talk to a mental health professional if you’re having trouble understanding why you feel the way you do.

     The staff at New Heights Counseling & Consulting, LLC wants you to know, that help is available. Pick up the phone and call (850)757-1552 to schedule an appointment with one of our professional therapists who specialize in helping individuals overcome mood disorders, negative attitudes, and perspectives. Read the staff’s biographies on our website at meet our team. The therapists will work with you at whatever pace you’re comfortable with and will be there for you every step of the way. Life goes by way too fast for you not to enjoy the benefits of walks and the beauty of nature. Take advantage of this opportunity to live a happier life. Find a trail to enjoy. Make a point to spend at least 15 minutes each day enjoying the outdoors. And if you need help, call us today.

    Additional Resources:

    Walking for good health – BetterHealth.com

    Personal Self-Care by Stephen McCrea

    Counseling for Depression Works – Find Happiness Again! by Colleen Wenner

    Other Mental Health Services Offered At New Heights Counseling

    New Heights Counseling located WorkSpace SuiteThe staff at New Heights Counseling provides both individual sessions and couples therapy, not only for emotional moods but for a wide variety of mental health concerns and mental disorders. Our services are for children, adolescents, and adults and we offer in-person sessions at our Fort Walton Beach, FL location and online therapy for the state of Florida.

    We are located on the 2nd floor of WorkSpace Suites at 1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 1057, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Get directions here Google Maps or visit our office location webpage. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM. Evenings/Weekends by appointments. Call (850)757-1552.

    About the Author:

    Colleen Wenner New Heights Founder Clinical DirectorColleen Wenner is the founder and clinical director of New Heights Counseling, where she provides counseling services for individuals struggling with mental health issues. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Master Certified Addiction Professional. Colleen is a qualified supervisor in the state of FL. and an EMDR trauma-certified practitioner and consultant in training. She is also licensed by the state of Virginia to provide professional counseling. Colleen is committed to providing excellent client care and services the Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, and surrounding communities.

    Colleen has always been an advocate for mental health issues and has devoted her life to raising awareness among the public. She has been featured on a variety of podcasts such as Practice of the Practice (The #1 Podcast for counselors in private practice), Shrink Think Podcast, and The Salty Christan Podcast to name a few. Colleen uses compassionate and authentic communication to help clients understand themselves better and feel more confident about their ability to improve their lives.