“When I have a shock, I walk to metabolize it. Walking, seeking only to move and in moving “move” something through, I often come to an entirely different idea.”
—Julia Cameron, The Right to Write
I’m a firm believer in physically moving when I feel mentally “stuck” or stressed. During exercise, not only do I find that my mood increases with the release of endorphins, but my body feels more alive with the increased oxygen intake. I also feel more able to calmly process any problems I seem to be having.
A friend of mine, a high school teacher, described a “walking it off” method many schools are employing to help with student behavior problems. Instead of sitting in an office or in detention, a student may, for example, take a walk around the track with a school counselor. By walking, the troubled student is able to “cool off” and perhaps even process his or her issues while simultaneously physically moving through the problems via walking. I use walking in a similar way, and I find that I often feel a greater sense of clarity after a good walk around the block.
Try this: The next time you feel stuck -- whether mentally stuck on a project or idea or emotionally stuck during an argument with your partner -- get up and move. Walk around the block, dance in your living room, stretch, jump up and down. Get your blood moving and follow this new flow to a place of better understanding and clarity.