Turns out, you CAN walk away the blues

And while I’m away
Dust out the demons inside
And it won’t be long before you and me run
To the place in our hearts where we hide
And I guess that’s why they call it the blues
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
Laughing like children, living like lovers
Rolling like thunder under the covers
And I guess that’s why they call it the blues
I Guess that’s why they call it the Blues, lyrics by Bernie Taupin
(c) 1983 Big Pig Music Limited
        I think that “the blues” is not a fair term for depression.  It seems to minimize the illness somehow, as if all you need is a great song or for your lover to come back to get rid of them.
        It’s not so easy in the real world. 
        Even though I feel great right now, I know better than to think I’ve been “cured” of depression.  If it’s like diabetes or high blood pressure, you can only manage the symptoms; but you can’t be freed from it entirely.   Just like cancer, you take the treatment and then hopefully it doesn’t come back.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.   
       So that’s why I have to take the meds even when I feel good.  Depression is not a mood that I can change with the right “cognitive” therapy.  Depression is a medical condition with the source being something not quite right in the body.   Something to do with nerve endings not having the right something in between them?  I can’t quite remember, and it doesn’t matter that I don’t understand it because I still have to take my meds.  I’d rather know stuff that makes me feel good. 
        Which gets me to the point of this blog.   The good news is that you can do something that will make you feel much better, and it is not a medicine.  It’s that thing that makes you feel better both physically and emotionally, and sometimes you get to see great scenery too. (That means it’s not sex, unless you like to do it in scenic places or you consider your partner’s body to be great scenery.)
         Yes, I mean hiking, but more generally, walking.  Walking is the best medicine.  It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood or in a nearby park, or walking on a treadmill inside (although I prefer the former to the latter).  I’ve always like to walk outside, and hiking in the woods is the nirvana of walking. 
      The trees are somehow soothing to me.  The circle of life and all that.  Who am I kidding?  I don’t really care much for that side of it; I just like being in the woods.
   Recently I came across something that affirmed for me that walking is good for you; even better, it says walking provides the inspiration for creativity.    
    If you are a Breaking Bad fan, then you will appreciate this little factoid. “The full significance of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle only struck British physicist Paul Dirac when the latter was out for a long walk.”   I assume this is the same Heisenberg; I could never tell if Walter was saying “Heisenberg” or “Eisenberg.”  
      Seriously, though, go here:  http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27186709  It’s an article from the BBC Magazine that talks about famous walkers and how walking helped their creativity.  For example, Charles Dickens walked 20 miles a day!  That’s a lot of walking.  
           Although the following view point is not supported by scientific study, author Geoff Nicholson explains in layman’s terms how walking improves creativity:

“There is something about the pace of walking and the pace of thinking that goes together. Walking requires a certain amount of attention but it leaves great parts of the time open to thinking. I do believe once you get the blood flowing through the brain it does start working more creatively,” says Geoff Nicholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking. Your senses are sharpened. As a writer, I also use it as a form of problem solving. I’m far more likely to find a solution by going for a walk than sitting at my desk and ‘thinking’.”

       My thoughts exactly.  When I have an issue at work that needs a creative solution, I walk around the office, or to the ladies room.  And now that it has gotten cooler I’ve been walking around the lake behind my office building in Innsbrook.  It has a paved path that follows the lake’s contours, plus adds a few turns and twists that mean a full loop equals 1.25 miles.  Twice around and I have my activity points for the day!
     So go take a walk.  You’ll feel better, I promise.



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