Since moving back into the city, I have felt myself gradually becoming more anxious and nervous. I find that the constant activity and stimulation and the fast pace of the city is agitating. I was born and raised in the city and I was always a very nervous person. I just figured that was just the type of person I was. But then after living in the country for a couple years, I found a different me that I never knew before. Unfortunately, THAT me is once again fading and the nervous me is coming back. So I've decided to try to find ways to unplug from the city in the hopes that maybe the peaceful, connected me will come back.
I recently bought a tent and some camping gear and me and my dog went out to the lake and camped for a couple nights. I could definitely tell the difference so I figured I was onto something. But within a few days being back in the city, I felt stressed and nervous again. So maybe I SHOULD move back to the country. But until that happens, I am determined to find ways of escaping the rat race.
Last week, I got some books from the library about backpacking and someone gave me some backpacking magazines. I sat up in bed reading the books and the stories in the magazines about hiking. I looked at all those beautiful pictures people had taken on the trail. And I daydreamed about what it would be like to hike the Appalachian Trail, or any trail for that matter. I couldn't get it off my mind. For the next several days, I spent a lot of time fantasizing while I was working. The fantasies were so real in my mind that it felt like I was really there.
After doing this for a few days, I realized something. I was relaxed! I haven't even been backpacking yet but, apparently, just thinking about it relaxed me in the very same way actually doing it will. I thought about my belief that we are IN our body as opposed to we ARE our body. And I realized that I don't have to physically get away from the city in order to calm my nerves down. My nerves and my body are just reflecting what my mind is doing. All that time I spent fantasizing in my mind about hiking through the wilderness and sleeping in a tent by a stream on a mountainside had the very same affect on my body as actually doing it would.
I still intend to go backpacking and camping every chance I get. But I'm glad I noticed that I felt better just from mentally unplugging from the rat race. It pays to pay attention. Paying attention is good. Look for the good! :)