The answer to most of your problems? Walk more. The act of walking gets you out of your own head and forces you to use your body as it is intended. In the age of convenience, the benefits of walking are a reminder that the easiest way is rarely the most fulfilling. Opting for more voluntary hardship is the best way to combat restlessness, cultivate a sense of appreciation, and build endurance for all that life throws your way.
We evolved to walk and propel ourselves forward under our own power. We evolved to be outside. We did not evolve to sit idly inside shelter, wasting away. Our sedentary lifestyles breed restlessness, as they should. They remove us from our natural element. But a walk in the woods, mountains, or any other natural landscape, is one of the most effective ways to hit the reset button. It puts things in perspective and offers a moment to reconnect with our immediate surroundings.
Walking is a form of active meditation. It's the catalyst for a state of present awareness. The next time you want to tune out the noise - or tune into yourself - try hiking for an hour and getting as high/far/lost as you can. Along the way, take a moment to let the sun warm your bones, listen to the gentle back and forth between stillness and the wind, and try not to find peace in that moment. Free from any pollution to your senses, it will come naturally.
Consider this in comparison to how you feel after spending the day binging on the latest Netflix series. It's the difference between feeling restless and detached, or engaged and self-aware. There's a time and place for the path of least resistance; working smarter, not harder. But that shortcut does not apply to moving your own body, which demands a certain level of strain.
Is walking the most convenient way to get somewhere? Certainly not. But there's something to be said about self-sufficiency. When grandpa told the story of how he walked five miles to school, uphill, in a blizzard, and how it built character, he was onto something. Our generation lacks the mental fortitude that voluntary hardship, which can be something as simple as walking, can help develop.
Physical endurance often translates to mental endurance. Going out of your way to overcome obstacles using your own legs prepares you to overcome other metaphorical obstacles in life.
Walking is instinctual. Oftentimes it really is as simple as heading outside and using your own legs. There are very few problems that can't be solved or put in perspective over a long walk. And there's no better way to hit reset, reconnect with your surroundings, and rediscover a sense of self-sufficiency. Instead of opting for convenience and facing recurring issues with the same strategy, try a different approach and opt for more voluntary hardship. It has the capacity to change everything. At the very least, it will change your outlook.