Health Tip #3: Walking, the under-rated Stress Buster

September 18, 2007 at 1:46 pm (exercise, stress relief, walking)

Being a closet type-A minus my whole life, I honestly have felt I’m doing nothing unless I’ve achieved my maximum potential. Whether this involves getting the grade, writing a thank you note of Pulitzer quality, or hitting the gym, I used to be a tightly wound spring. Obviously, as you can imagine, I was a stressed out little bugger before I saw the light. This mentality is not sustainable, and will only cause bags under the eyeballs and anxiety, neither or which are inviting qualities.

So, as I am one to always seek development and better ways of doing everything, I actively worked on taking it down a notch, at any chance I could get. Being a stressed out nut is not your identity…it is a temporary state of being you must battle tooth and nail. I simply get annoyed at individuals who just complain or submit to their exposed nerves. One should think, how can I better this situation and be happier? Unfortunately, not everyone is self-aware, and sometimes people may not realize they are getting some benefit by complaining. Not that sharing problems and discussing is unhealthy…it is necessary. But harping like a seal for months is not OK. This is the point that I start thinking this person might be getting some gain from this behavior. Even negative attention (i.e., pity, villagers running away screaming) is appealing to some. But, my mantra is that it is your responsibility to make your life better. You can ask for help, but you must not settle for less.

This is your friend, and the bear represents how you are feeling inside.

Perhaps you have a friend who calls for a daily one-way dumping on your shoulder/ears. You then go and fester about this or in turn to bitch to someone else. This is only allowable for a time-limited stage, when it is your responsibility to bite the bullet and figure out a strategy to make this situation better. Whether it’s going for a walk with this friend and gently stating that you really need a good friend too, and you wish you could talk to her about your problems. Or suggesting that she start working towards positive resolutions. And if she balks or you decide to end the friendship to focus on other people, that is your choice as well.

Reassessment of your current happiness quotient is a must. But it is something you must schedule in. There are some activities that are FANTASTIC for jogging the mind, releasing stress, and forcing yourself to redefine your life. One in particular, is walking. I suggest a daily walk with either a healthy (of mind) friend or on your own, preferably during daylight hours. After dinner is a good time. During the day, there is very little space you can get for your mind to rest, to process the day’s events, or to reflect on changes that need to occur. An extremely underrated form of activity, I often felt walking was a waste of time because I was not breaking a sweat. You will not only feel relaxed, and get in better shape, but you will have a better relationship with either a good friend or yourself. If you’d like an amazing workout for other times, follow the Couch to 5K workout at See Corey Run. The workout is a convenient , downloadable pod-cast. See the link on the left-hand sidebar.

So slap on those sneaks, and get your buns out the door.

SOLUTION: Daily walks alone or with a friend

PROS: stress release, quiet time to think or time to talk with a friend, renewed emotional energy, in better shape, getting vitamin D from the sun (no more pasty complexion), working out issues, being outside/in nature

CONS: none

For kicks, I’ve included this ADORABLE video of a baby seal. About 1:30 into the video is absolutely hilarious.

As I’m a HUGE animal fan, and think we have the duty to support the helpless who do not have a voice (animals, the elderly, children), click HERE to show your support to the World Wildlife Fund. You can sign up for a pittance, they’ll give you a cute gift, a calendar too, and you will help keep endangered species alive.

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