Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Good Walk Can Ease the Mind

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!




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