For the busy person, finding unplugged quiet time for meditation or mindfulness may feel impossible. Mindful walking a great way to reap the benefits of a mindfulness practice throughout the day (and an excuse to get outside)!
Connecting deeply to your movement, breath and surroundings have been shown to have a rejuvenating effect on the brain, restore focus and boost energy levels.
Mindful walking utilizes all of the senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste) to ease your awareness into the present moment. When we focus on the present, rather than the past or future, happiness levels have been shown to be elevated.
Here are some tips to get started:
-As you walk, become aware of how your body is feeling. You can internally scan your body from top of the head down to the toes. Notice where your body feels great!
-Feel your body move through space with each step. Do you feel your clothes brush against your skin with each step? Do you feel the air on your face?
-Notice the ground beneath you as you make contact on your heel, rock forward through the mid foot and then to the toes.
-Look around and take notice of your surrounding environment.
-Inhale through your nose and take in any smells. What scents or aromas do you notice? Maybe you stop and smell roses.
-If you notice that your mind is wandering with thoughts, use the next step you take as an opportunity to reconnect to your body, your breath and your surroundings.
Mindful walking doesn’t have to happen outside. You can walk mindfully down the hall to your colleague at work or through the grocery store. Use anytime you walk as an opportunity- even if it’s just 30 seconds. If we aren’t careful, life can pass us by. Use these techniques to appreciate the journey!