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.