The Power of a Walk

I have long believed in the healing power of a good, long walk. Whenever I am feeling anxious or upset, walking seems to grant me some perspective. I always return feeling renewed, ready to dedicate myself to solving whatever problems caused the original stress.

I’ve always been an emotionally sensitive kind of person, but in a very private sort of way. Yelling or blowing off steam in an external way isn’t my style. As a result, some people probably think I am repressed.

You know how some therapists encourage their patients to scream as loud as they can to let out their frustration? That never worked for me. Just the thought of screaming in public, or even when alone, makes me even more anxious. Besides, it’s not very helpful to be told to yell one moment and then the next be told you are yelling wrong.

It’s kind of odd to me that I have always been so reserved and yet have no difficulty talking about personal feelings online for anyone to see. It doesn’t get any more public than the internet, and yet I am willing to put a lot of my inner wranglings out there, open for judgment. I have no idea why that is.

In the past I have credited Shiva with saving me from my own insanity. Now I have to wonder if it wasn’t solely the presence of a furry dependent that broke me out of my funk. Perhaps all the walking I suddenly started to do with her made a larger impact than just having a dog alone.

My world is primarily an internal one. If I don’t get a chance to re-charge or if my brain becomes clogged with too many external demands, walking seems to provide relief. It gives me the space and time I need to sort through jumbling thoughts. I don’t have to think about all the things I should be doing. When out with Shiva I don’t have to do anything but put one foot in front of the other.

There are likely some worries that walking won’t fix, but if so, I don’t want to know what they are.

When you are feeling stressed, is there anything that usually makes you feel better?

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Because it is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month at Petfinder.com, I am trying to dedicate a minute every day to sharing the images of cats waiting for their forever homes.

 This adorable orange dude has a sad story to tell. Before arriving at the Kings County SPCA in Waterville, NS, he had been abandoned by his previous owner. Kind strangers cared for him and his injuries and eventually brought him to a vet whereupon he healed up nicely. The only thing left on his to do list is finding a new family with whom he can enjoy the rest of his life.

 

 

In spite of her name, Max is very much a female. The Seattle Animal Shelter foster family treats her like the true royalty she is. At ten years of age, she has been around the block and has the confidence to prove it. She is looking for retirement home where she can relax and enjoy some well-deserved pampering.

27 thoughts on “The Power of a Walk

  1. Hi Kristine, walking helps alot. You should do whatever gives you the most peace. Posting on the Internet, well use your best judgement. It’s not like we all live next door to you so everything’s fine. We think that you’re a very nice person.

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  2. My stress reduction strategies are pretty similar to yours… a good long hike with the dogs at the farm or at the pond always make me feel better… just some good old nature, dogs, walking, and being alone (typically but company can be fun too)… lets me unwind 🙂

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  3. LOL my poor Fred suffered when I quit smoking last year, in the begining he loved it but slowly realized walking with tense me who was going through nicotine withdrawl while swollowing some rage wasnt as fun as normal dog walks lol.
    I am glad you have that moment with Shiva. I know with haylie I can walk away my worries.

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  4. I am 150% on board with the walk to sooth the mind. Working out in general seems to help my mood if I’m stressed, but something about a long walk, especially if the weather is good does so much more for my brain.

    You’d think the walk would provide ample time to stew, fret and generally lose it further, but for some reason my mind is almost always blank on walks. It’s divine. I just wish my new walking routine had less bears involved…

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  5. I love the way Shiva looks at you. It’s like she’s saying, “Oh come on, not that bloomin camera again”.:)
    I also like to walk when I want some time to myself to sort things out in my head. Also find crafting and doing mhy tapestry very calming.

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  6. Training with Sophie really helps me reduce my stress a lot! I also do pilates and zumba when I really need to get some frustration/stress out.

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  7. I agree – walks with Blueberry help keep me balanced. During the walk I focus on her and how much she is enjoying new smells, pee-mail, seeing other dogs or meeting new people that just have to stop and ask what kind of dog she is. It definitely helps get me out of my own head for a while and recharges me. I’m also not one to be comfortable with yelling or anything like that.

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  9. Great post!

    There are times, out walking with Elka, that I just wish we had more time, more street, more sidewalk, more sunlight. I’m just so happy to be out there, and with her!

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  10. I too enjoy walking to clear the mind. I’m also a big fan of taking baths for this same purpose. Generally, I go the bath route since 2 of my 3 dogs do not like to allow me to have a nice relaxing walk. 🙂

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  11. I think you may be onto something about the walking. Whenever I am writing something for work and I get stuck, I always go for a walk. it seems to help me solidify my thoughts.

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  12. When I’m feeling stressed, I pick up the camera and walk away, or go curl up with a good book. I tend to prefer to keep my own company when I’m feeling stressed. I do enjoy getting out and walking, too!

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  13. Walking or grooming the dogs really takes me to my happy place. It puts me at ease and allows me to sort through all that is going through my.

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  14. Walking (all exercise, actually) is a natural serotonin producer. That means a good long walk will do for your brain what Prozac does, with none of the side effects and lots of added benefits.

    I wish I could walk the dog two hours a day like you do. But that means not getting everything I need to get done, done, and thus my stress increases. Talk about a fine balance…

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  15. I think walking with the dog brings you into the present moment, which is always a good thing 😉 I’ve always been somewhat repressed too – I’m supposed to be the “happy one” in my family so screaming would be completely out of character for me too. I think writing is a great way express feelings that are hard to verbalize and I very much enjoy your posts. I’m glad you enjoy your walks with Shiva and they help bring you some peace. 🙂

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  16. I guess it is a combination of having a pet and having a brisk walk. After all, both are known to give us a good feeling.

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  17. I have also found that walking helps clear my mind and ease my stress. This past year has ben the hardest one of my life. Going back to the corporate world, closing down my business, money issues – every time I was feeling stressed a good long walk with my dogs helped.

    It’s funny, but I never really realized how much a good walk could make one feel until I used to do it for a living. I loved walking for hours every day. It allowed me to clear my mind and to let off steam.

    Amazing something so simple could make such a difference isn’t it?

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