The first step to feeling better is:
Walking gets us moving, it gets us out of our ruts. It activates our body, gets us going, and brings fresh oxygen to our muscles and mind. It energizes every aspect of our being.
Walking uses both sides of the body–right, left, right, left. Maybe our arms swing, too. This is providing natural Bi-Lateral Stimulation (BLS) just like EMDR does! You are doing your own therapy! Bi-Lateral Stimulation helps both sides of the brain integrate our experience. When done in a calm setting, it relaxes our nervous system and gives our whole body a chance to settle and integrate.
When we walk, we are less inclined to get stuck in our heads with their circling thoughts.
When we walk, we can use our senses as they were meant to be used, to appreciate the sights. (No screens!) Enjoy nature. Notice the plants and trees growing. Stop to smell the flowers. Notice your community, which properties are receiving care, which could use a helping hand. Look into the distance to relax your eye muscles. Listen for the sound of birds, sense any breeze or wind. Breathe deeply. Release the tensions of the day.
Maybe you choose to walk mindfully, and notice when you change weight from one leg to another, noticing the gentle sway of your pelvis as you walk. Notice the rhythm of your walking and how it changes.
You might even see people as you walk. This can be a time to people watch, or a time to connect. Experiment with different levels of eye contact.
Now that you’ve mastered walking, add Smiling!
Smile at the people you meet. Say hello! You’ll be amazed at how uplifting this can be, simply to give and receive a smile.
The act of smiling sends a feedback signal to our body that lifts our mood. This is another situation where we can fake it ’til we make it. Smiling actually improves our mood by itself. More free therapy!
Feeling connected in our community makes us feel more secure and ready to take on challenges. Be present where you work and live. Take a stroll…
Walk with others! Walk with friends. Walk with work-mates. Walk with your partner to unwind at the end of the workday, before handling other tasks. Or, walk after a meal, and enjoy the sunset.
Walk around a lake or reservoir. Walk to the corner store or library. Walk where your heart takes you.
Walk into your life!