Walking to “Order” the Mind
Updated: Dec 9, 2018
Recently I heard a Psychologist say that some people use their phones and either social media or games for “ordering” their mind. She said that that can be a good thing and some personalities really need to take all the thoughts, conversations, emotions and interactions with art they’ve had and just “make sense of it all”. This certainly piqued my interest as I need to order my mind at various points throughout the day (ideally) and for sure after a few days of a lot of stimulation and interaction (hopefully a full day of peaceful puttering around the house and outside).
But it begs the question: how did people order their minds before a small mini-computer with its endless fascinations was in their sweaty hands?
Tada! I give you the common exercise of Walking in Nature! Or at least Walking Outdoors!
The practice of a daily walk is the best way for me to calm down, think a problem through, find inspiration…it’s really quite amazing! I've walked alone a lot less since I have two toddlers and boy howdy do I now see what a luxury a walk in solitude is. Anyhow.
Look at these fun quotes on walking:
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” -
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
- Henry David Thoreau
“But the beauty is in the walking -- we are betrayed by destinations.” - Gwyn Thomas
“For [Jane Austen and the readers of Pride and Prejudice], as for Mr. Darcy, [Elizabeth Bennett's] solitary walks express the independence that literally takes the heroine out of the social sphere of the houses and their inhabitants, into a larger, lonelier world where she is free to think: walking articulates both physical and mental freedom.”
- Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? 'Ride,' Pleasure said; 'Walk,' Joy replied.” - William Henry Davies
"I would walk along the quais when I had finished work or when I was trying to think something out. It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood."
- Ernest Hemingway
"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
- Henry David Thoreau
"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."
- Henry David Thoreau (Mr. Thoreau obviously had a lot to say about walking!)
"If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish."
- Charles Dickens
"Meandering leads to perfection."
- Lao Tzu
I couldn't have said it better - enjoy yourself and take a walk today!