By: Kevin Daugherty, CHHC, CH, CHMI
When I say "Power Walk" I'm not talking about the rigorously focused walking that's just short of jogging and is meant to burn calories and tone the butt. No, I mean something else. When I say “Power Walk” I mean unlocking the power of walking. Depression, anxiousness, lack of motivation or inspiration can become quite consuming but something as simple as going outside for a walk can change your day.
Getting outside and going for a walk will give you a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun and do other wonders such as release endorphins, increase heart rate and circulation, boost cognitive function and much, much more. Going for a walk can surely be as simple as one foot in front of the other but if you practice other fun techniques on your walk you can take the healing effects to the next level.
Find yourself a good pace of walk and then start to change your breathing pattern. Fill your lungs through your nose and breath lower into your abdomen instead of typical higher chest breathing. Really fill those lungs up. Visualize your lungs taking in beautiful air and energy and letting out junk.
Visualize your heart beating slow and strong. Feel the air on your skin.
Keep a balanced posture with shoulders back, head held high, jaw relaxed, and arms swinging full and free.
Look around and see everything with curiosity and wonderment and be aware of all the sights and sounds around you. Take in all your surroundings have to offer but you don’t have to focus on one thing. Even if its a familiar place try to pick out what's new and different.
Look to the horizon, just as far as you can see. It is very humbling and tends to help put things into perspective. When depressed or anxious, our world tends to shrink in on us and by looking up we and our problems are small compared to how big the world is. It changes perspective and is quite powerful.
Feel your feet hitting the ground and allow it to give you a sense of grounding.
Touch a tree or rock or dirt, feel the texture and the sense of grounding from these objects as well.
Keep an eye out for wildlife, observe them living their life but at a distance, don’t interfere with them.
Remind yourself how grateful you are to have the ability to experience something so simple yet wonderful
Upon returning, feel free to write down some of your experiences, things you saw, thoughts and ideas you had. Designate a notebook for writing down your post walk stuff and maybe make it a goal to take enough walks to fill the notebook up.
Notice how your state has changed upon returning from your walk.