Take it for a walk!
Updated: Sep 22
Walking is an amazing, therapeutic strategy. During the numerous lockdowns that we have experienced over the last couple of years, I really got to understand the power of walking, as it was one of the few things we were allowed to do. But not just walking for the sake of moving forward. And not walking your dog, or a chatty walk with a friend.
Mindful, lucid walking.
When you sit with a "thing" that is on your mind, when you ruminate and worry it to an inch of it's life, when you are stuck for an idea, an answer or inspiration, take it for a walk!
Sitting with something, whether it is a memory, painful thought or or anything that causes us discomfort does have its benefits - there are several very successful therapeutic interventions and holistic or psychospiritual approaches that will help you sit with it and face the demon, so to speak. But it is not necessarily the only way.
I have found myself stuck for ideas - I took it for a walk, and sure enough, ideas started forming. During my corporate years I designed database interfaces. When I got stuck or got so tangled up that I had no idea how to make something work - I took it for a walk, and normally managed to see something from a different perspective, or at least get the energy back to try again. But it goes for those heavy emotions or thought clouds as well. I walk it off.
I believe that part of it is down to you removing yourself from that "space" that you have been sitting in with the energy building up around you. So taking a walk away from that space, helps you to step out of that energy.
Studies have shown that exercise, including walking, has a direct impact on the brain. It promotes a positive effect on thinking and creativity. Brain cells and brain tissue are positively affected. Of course there are physical health benefits as well, including lower blood pressure and promoting heart health and stress hormones are reduced. Mood boosting endorphins are released, mood, cognitive function and working memory are improved.
I came up with my Lucid Walking experience while - yes, you got it - taking a walk. Now, if something is on my mind, I walk CONSCIOUSLY - being acutely aware of the thought or the issue, my body, my senses, surroundings and what I want to achieve.
I walk... I breathe... I feel... I remain open... I reflect... and I let go and say hello to the ducks. Or play peek-a-boo with a squirrel, or smile at another walker, whether they look at me or not. And I walk. Become one with nature. Notice things hiding in hedges. Lean against an old oak, sharing energy. Visualise. Imagine. Ponder. Affirm. Challenge my thoughts and beliefs. And I walk.
It's not a race, I take my time. And normally by the end of my walk I end up feeling better, feeling healthier and more grounded, with a different perspective or a new idea.
My Lucid Walking experience is a combination of low impact physical exercise (walking), active meditation, mindful awareness, guided visualisation, affirmation and energy work. It is a quite, reflective process which I facilitate with occasional prompts, questions and suggested actions.
What do you want to take for a walk? It can be a beautiful mental health and self care process where you get some fresh air, slow the mind down, connect with the body, and you burn some calories! :)