Walking It Off

I've been under a little stress lately: not having a job, working on my personal "issues", and other things (thank goodness the wedding/cake baking went well and is finished!). A few weeks ago I twittered about needing an outlet. Michelle's suggestion was best: exercise. Michelle knows about these things because her body's way of dealing with stress is "challenging" to say the least. She had to learn about alternative ways to process stress.

So, I've been trying to do that lately, mostly through walking (it's FREE!), but am sometimes reluctant, since a) I can always rationalize that I should be using that hour or so to be "accomplishing" something and b) I think too much when I walk, which contributes to my general thinking too much. Now that my computer is back in action (mental note: blog about computer's rejuvenation and praise BIL), I was able to get some books on CD ripped to MP3s so I could put them on my MP3 player and listen to something distracting as I walk. I first managed to do this yesterday. I didn't listen to the book yet (Anathem, by Neal Stephenson), instead I listened again to that D&D podcast I enjoyed so much (thinking I wanted comedy). Not a great idea, since it had lulls that gave me space to descend into too much cogitation. We'll see how the book goes today. I may need to do a little more thoughtful choosing of books (like maybe see if Bujold or Pratt are available on CD at my library).
Anyway, at the very least, I'm getting exercise.


John the Scientist said...

Well, if you wanted to compete with some of us on the timed runs, the only thing you'd be thinking while exercising is "when can I stop, God this hurts, why the eff am I doing this, when can I stop, crap another third of a mile to go, jeez why did I do this, when can I stop?"


Charley said...

Yet another good reason I avoid exercise.

Truthfully, though, Anne, if you think of yourself as an over-analyzer I would suggest some simple meditation techniques. I know you've heard it before from someone (I'm sure), but meditation techniques take practice, force you to take a time out, and often can reveal something that needs attention which you weren't considering. For some basics - and this takes dedicated practice - try this: http://www.freemeditations.com/zen_meditation.html

The left hand side has a series of links to all different techniques.

Random Michelle K said...

Yay exercise! Yay for brain distractions!

Anne C. said...

Thanks for the suggestion and the link, Charley. I am very familiar with meditation. I even took tai chi for a few years and that is a form of moving meditation. Many times, some form of meditation has worked for me.

What the walking and listening is doing right now is providing two things I need: exercise and escape. (I find that meditation is not escape, it is more like a different way of processing things.)

Your suggestion does remind me that I ought to incorporate a short period of meditation/quieting of the mind before sleep.

The truth is that while I do "over think" things, I am much better than I ever was and in most situations not bad at all. This period has just been particularly challenging.

belsum said...

I know there's a book that Ben Browder did the audio for. I'll see if I can find the title for you! :-)

Anonymous said...

Mediation doesn't work for me -- I need some sort of physical movement to zone into. I thought I would hate swimming laps, but have actually found that I focus on my breathing and in small things, like counting strokes or paying close attention to my muscles during each stroke. The closest to meditation I've ever come...