Christmas Day walk helps you feel happy

If you want a truly happy Christmas, get out of the house tomorrow for a pre- or post-festive lunch walk. That's the suggestion from the National Trust, whose survey has found being surrounded by nature could help relieve seasonal stress.

Apparently all it takes is a brisk stroll through your nearest park or countryside, and you could not just feel happier but healthier too, since previous studies suggest just being in a natural environment could help lower blood pressure and make you feel relaxed.

The Trust commissioned the research as part of its investigation into public access and enjoyment of the outdoors. And what it discovered was that while fewer than half the people it surveyed said they felt happy with their lives, 80% of those who did say they were happy also claimed to have a strong connection with nature.

"Over recent years the stress of Christmas has increased - so much so that a search for 'Christmas stress tips' on Google returns more than 17 million results," says Mark Harold, a National Trust director.

"The festive walk is one such antidote - whether it's a bracing hilltop march or an amble through the park, many people value walking as a simple pleasure and a chance to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the season."

If you're venturing outdoors for a Christmas walk tomorrow, the National Trust wants to know your thoughts. Add #festivewalks messages to Twitter and Facebook if you feel happier after your stroll. The results will be analysed and published on the Outdoor Nation website in January.

Dont' forget to tell us all about it too.

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