Anxiety · Healing

On walking

the_woods_in_spring_3_by_minquit

As part of my anxiety treatment, my doctor has prescribed one hour of walking a day.  I am a big fan of walking, or at least I was until my anxiety spiraled out of control.  This summer was the hottest on record, and combined with my mental health issues, I couldn’t bear to go outside.

If you are struggling with anxiety, though, I highly recommend it as a form of therapy.  It can feel daunting at first.  The last thing you want to do when you have anxiety is go outside.  What you want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head.

During some of the worst days of my anxiety this summer, walking was extremely beneficial.  When I thought that I had some awful disease, walking helped me get back in touch with my body.  After all, if I was really sick, would I feel better after exercising for an hour?  Whenever I had a big lump in my chest, it would be gone by the end of the walk.  Recently, I’ve been having a racing heartbeat.  Walking helps me slow my breathing down and in turn calms my heart.

Another added bonus: it helped combat the feelings of unreality I’d been having.  Going from a computer screen at work to a TV and tablet screen at home didn’t help my anxiety.  Getting outside into the real world and walking around the neighbourhood helped me feel like I was part of life.  Plus, there was something meditative about just putting one foot in front of the other.

As fall progresses and the air becomes clearer, I am looking forward to continuing my walking regime.  My husband usually comes with me, and on good nights we get involved in a deep discussion that takes my mind off my anxieties.  It’s the perfect activity for introverted people who want to get out but don’t feel like interacting with a lot of people.

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3 thoughts on “On walking

  1. Great post! I really liked how you made the point of how getting outside can help with thoughts of derealisation. It’s something I suffer a lot with, which is why I try to walk to work when I feel I can and I have the energy. I really need to take the time to walk in more natural environments though. There’s a forest near where I live so I have no excuse on that front!

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  2. Thank you so much for commenting! I am really excited that people are reading this! 🙂

    I think walking in nature is a great way to ease anxiety, and it has worked for me many times, even when I’m just feeling regular stress rather than the Panic. A few weeks ago I was out walking under the night sky, staring up at the stars, and it was the best night I’d had since I started feeling ill. Yesterday evening I was out walking with a couple of other people and we stopped on a bridge while they argued about religion. I just let the conversation wash over me and focused on the swans swimming in the water while the sun set. It was wonderful. I wasn’t focused on checking my symptoms obsessively.

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