How can a daily walk greatly improve someone’s mood, mindset, and mental well-being? Which mental techniques can you employ while on a stroll to connect with yourself? Can a daily habit of walking change your life?
In this podcast episode, LaToya Smith speaks about walking towards a better version of self with Iulia Alderman.
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Meet Iulia Alderman
Iulia specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for two years at the AHPCC and obtained a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Hypno-Psychotherapy at The National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy in the United Kingdom.
Beyond the sum of her qualifications, degrees, and training – and beyond Iulia, the therapist, there is Iulia Alderman, a HUMAN passionate about authentic and unique experiences, healing through self-reflection, walking, and continuous growth. Experience has taught her the importance of patience, empathy, and balance. No matter what, she keeps walking – sometimes with small steps, sometimes at an average pace, and sometimes… running.
In this Podcast
- Walking every day
- Walking the Camino
- The value of walking
- Mental well-being techniques of walking
- Iulia Alderman’s advice to private practitioners
Walking every day
During the pandemic, Iulia started to properly walk, and, she was walking for an hour or so a day. On some days she would walk for two hours. This routine with herself went on for a couple of months.
And then I noticed changes within myself in the sense [that] I felt more calm, I could sleep better, I was eating better, I was enjoying my work [on] another level. (Iulia Alderman)
Iulia Alderman realized that her walking routine was the thing that was having such profound positive impacts on all the areas of her life. She used walking as a hobby that she then incorporated into her routine.
Walking the Camino
After this realization, Iulia Alderman was inspired to go on a walking holiday and tackle the famous walking road, the Camino.
It starts in Spain or in France or in south Portugal … with the final destination is Santiago de Compostela, the city where everyone is aiming to get. (Iulia Alderman)
She walked for 23 days, about 18 miles a day.
The value of walking
One of the most important things to consider is whether walking daily or more frequently would be a new activity for you, because – as you would know as a therapist – people have a tough time adapting to change, or a change in their routine. You may think that you don’t like walking, but that could be because it’s still something that you need to adjust to. Give it a week or two before you decide whether to chuck it or to stick it out.
You might not enjoy it straight away. You might feel initially that it’s boring perhaps if you’re a more active person or if you prefer running or going to the gym … But in time, there are benefits that I hope you’ll notice. (Iulia Alderman)
Some of the many benefits that you can enjoy from walking include:
- Quieting your mind which helps with anxiety
- Getting a fresh or different perspective
- Getting out of your head and into your body
- Finding a rhythm from walking as opposed to feeling stagnant from sitting or lying down for a long time
Try it out for 10 or 15 minutes a day for 20 days or so, and see how you feel. It’s free, it’s accessible – even if you walk up and down your street – and you have time. You will have 10 minutes free to put on some shoes and get outside for a little while.
Mental well-being techniques of walking
When you walk, you can try to do some small things to add to it being a wellness practice. Walking can be a grounding technique where you are in the present moment.
You can look at the colors, listen and identify the noises, feel the impact through your body, and take deeper breaths. You could listen to podcasts, or to audiobooks or music. Going back to basics is a simple technique to do and being in the present moment, but it is one of the most powerful and transformative things that you can do as well.
That is the moment when you reach inside the mindfulness, the present moment, that is the moment when your mind gives up its distracted patterns, and you decide [on] the things that you are ready to let go [of]. What are the things that you’re ready to forgive yourself [for]? … That was an intense mental process for me while walking. (Iulia Alderman)
Iulia Alderman’s advice to private practitioners
Just do it! Ensure that you find 10 minutes a day to try this because it is time invested into yourself and your life. You will feel a little bit better about yourself and the life around you too.
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