Looking and Walking at the Same Time
When you walk, where do you look?
Generally, you can look in one of three directions: down, up, or straight ahead. It seems that most people, including myself, naturally look down. By experimenting and being conscious of where I look while I walk, I09ve noticed a correlation between my thoughts and the direction that I09m looking. There is an interesting causal relationship as well: certain types of thoughts will cause you to look in a certain direction, and looking in a certain direction will cause certain types of thoughts.
Down: The Internal.
When I look down, I am looking into myself. I am immersed in my own train of thought, imagining conversations or scenarios, or humming a song that09s stuck in my head. I highly aware of my immediate surroundings, say, what09s within six feet of me, but am relatively unaware of what09s outside my small field of vision. Looking down can, but does not necessarily, mean that I09m melancholy. The farther down I look, the more absorbed I am in my thoughts.
Up: The External
I notice this most when I09m walking downtown, because I always look up to the tops of the skyscrapers like a perpetual tourist. My thoughts tend to be less about myself, and more about the larger structures in which I exist: society, life, matter. I feel like a small ant working in a large colony. My thoughts are of what everyone and everything has in common, rather than what09s makes me unique. When I ride the El, I particularly feel like a small part of a vast system moving thousands of people all over the city; and I tend to look up. Or maybe I look up because the advertisements attract my attention. I don09t know--I09m speaking generally.
Straight Ahead: The Happy Medium
Looking at the horizon, it seems, has moderate elements of looking up and looking down. Straight ahead is when I feel most aware. Perhaps it09s the harmonious balance of the internal and external self. I also feel the most self-confident, strong, and in control. I walk with focus and determination. I most often look straight ahead immediately after something happy or affirming happened, such as doing well on a test.
Note: In addition to the above thought patterns, looking down results in less stumbling, and your shoes remaining cleaner. Looking up increases stumbling frequency and dirties your shoes.