The other day, I got caught up thinking about too much at once. I was irritated and worried and disheartened all at the same time. Things were getting to me, and I was doing what is often called over-thinking.
As a writer, I can frequently put distance between myself and pesky real-life problems by sitting down and putting words on paper. I enter the imaginary world of my story and characters, and usually, I can escape. But on this occasion, not even the muse could silence the internal fuss I was having. Pressure was building, and I was getting frustrated. So, I looked out my office window, saw the line of distant hills, and decided to go for a walk.
I started out on a familiar route along the pedestrian/bike path near my house. It was a day of mixed cloud and sun, on the cool side, but comfortable enough to set out at a brisk pace. At first, I continued to think about all the stuff that had driven me outside. Worry and irritation dogged me. But I kept moving, one step at a time. By the time I had gone a mile, perhaps a little more, the troubling thoughts began to fade. And then I began to take in my surroundings. I saw fluffy white clouds on a mountainous horizon. Smelled freshly-turned earth and wet grass; heard birds in trees, high schoolers on a nearby playing field. I was surrounded by a physical world I saw too little of, and the more I walked, the more reassurance I felt that it was still there. It was an immediate connection, like I was bonding with nature. I wondered why I didn't walk more often.
We are often told that a change of scene puts things in proper perspective. I believe it does. In many cases, worry and confusion can be left behind by simply leaving the house. Finding harmony doesn't have to be a time-consuming exercise in soul searching. It can be as simple as opening your door and going outside.
Take a walk in the great outdoors. It's fresh, invigorating, and therapeutic. And it's free!
THE LITTLE ROCK MESSENGER