Written by: Brady Johnson Published: April 6th, 2022
Lesson #8: Go for a Walk
Most of us live our life at a very fast pace and it is easy to forget the simple pleasures that are offered to us everyday. I spend most of my time walking around campus here at Umass Amherst. But most of my walking involves listening to music or checking my phone. I hardly ever am able to just focus on walking and observe my surroundings.
Last summer was hectic for me. Working 60-70 hour weeks, overwhelming myself, and putting all the chips in the middle. When I worked 8–8 during the weeks or sometimes even later it would be very hard for me to find time for myself. But I knew that I needed to. So in late June I started taking walks to the beach in the middle of the night when everyone else was sleeping. I would walk along the beach and let the cold sand hit my feet as I listened to the soothing sound of the waves. I did not bring my phone on these walks, just my notepad and pen. I finally felt at peace with myself.
Going on hikes and walks surrounded by people is fun and it is sometimes good to get outside and talk with others. But there is something special about taking a walk by yourself with no distractions. It allows your mind to think and relax and focus on your thoughts and surroundings.
It is often hard for me to focus on one thing at a time but eliminating distractions forces you to focus on your thoughts. Going for a walk and observing nature also allows you to also creatively brainstorm new ideas, it allows you to become inspired.
Guess how much it costs to go for a walk outside? Nothing. It is a mindful activity that can really help you work towards your goals and align your thoughts. Taking a break from work and going on your phone is the easiest way to take a break from daily life and I have to admit that I choose to just resort to my phone for a break. I will open up Instagram or go on Youtube and get lost in the algorithm. That’s not motivating, that is not going to help you finish the rest of your work.
Not to mention that it is also good for your physical health to get up and go for a walk. For someone who has a higher heart rate like myself it is helpful to go for walks to slow down my system. And I understand that going to the gym is so helpful for so many people, but at the gym I tend to go 100 miles an hour and spread myself a little too thin most of the time. I wake up the next morning and am sore and am unable to go on consecutive days. But walking is different, you don’t do too much and it is more about training your mind than anything else.
Walking for me is a form of meditation. Meditation is huge for me because it helps slow down my mind and get my thoughts aligned for the day. Every day I meditate tends to be a good day.
It is hard to just get up and start religiously working out every week but it is much easier to start with walks and work your way up slowly.
So if I could give any advice I would say that on nice days it is important to go for a stroll for your own well being. Going on walks have helped me learn a lot about myself and where I want to be.
Peace and love as always,