Health and Wellness

Should a sense of dread come over you, go for a walk

β€œIt is the best of humanity that goes out to walk.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

SHOULD A SENSE of dread come over you, it is best to go on a walk. This I have learned. The simple act of changing scenery brings more than a breath of fresh air into your lungs. It also serves as a breath of fresh air for your mind and mental state.

It’s best, too, for this walk to be done in nature. This does not mean within the trails of a forest necessarily. It can be as simple as a walk through the neighborhood; anywhere, really, so long as there are trees nearby and birds and a sky. The sky need not be blue even. It can be as gray as cigar smoke.

The air can be cool or cold or hot and wet. The climate matters little.

What’s important is momentum. Slow momentum. Mindful steps.

Don’t think too much. Instead, focus on your breath, the air going in and out of your lungs, the sounds of nature β€” not the sounds from within your own mind.

Fifteen minutes of walking is all you need to transform the sense of dread washed over you. Longer is just fine, too.

Photo by Jonnelle Yankovich on Unsplash

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

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