Walking and thinking

What is the relationship between walking and thinking? I have noticed many times that people will get out of their chair and wander around the house while on a phone call. Also, there’s nothing like a long walk when you want to mull things over.
Somewhere in the history of humans the two activities have become intimately linked. When, as children, we first learned to walk, were we also learning to combine logic, memory, and insight?
Does anyone else out there have worn paths in their carpet?

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7 Responses to Walking and thinking

  1. I’m not sure if there’s a scientific/physiological explanation for it, but I find walking very calming when I’m upset or need to relax after a long, stressful day. Christianity (not the holy roller kind, but the contemplative, monastic version) and Zen Buddhism both practice walking meditation, though you’re not supposed to really think while meditating. You’re supposed to be focused on the moment, conscious of the bottoms of your feet as they press against the earth or stone floor, the air brushing your skin, the color of the sky (if you’re outdoors), etc.

    Babies love being walked when they’re upset or sick. I wonder if that’s also linked. There is the theory that claims the rocking feeling resembles the rolling, swaying motion babies experience while in their mothers’ wombs. Maybe, as we lightly sway with our steps, we’re unconsciously replicating the movement we felt as fetuses?

    I’m living in a space that’s too small to pace in, but I like strolling outdoors and walking up and down the garden path while I talk on the phone. The reception is better, too! 🙂

  2. I suppose there’s a correlation, then, that the room with the most comfortable furniture … that invites one to sit and relax … is also where the TV is located.

    No thinking going on while sitting there …

  3. kimkiminy says:

    Definitely there is a correlation. Also with showering. And driving. Something to do with performing a simple, mundane task that sets the subconscious free.

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