In a fast-paced and rapidly moving world, slowing down with meditation at home and taking a walk in the park can be a good idea to relieve anxiety and stress. As we know, meditation helps calm the mind, and walking is a well-known exercise to help keep fit. But, what if one can practice meditation and walk at the same time? This concept is precisely what “mindful walking” is. Mindful walking, or walking meditation, is a method in which the benefits of both worlds come together. In addition to keeping you fit physically, it can also take care of your mental health. Many have stated that when they practice mindful walking, it can do wonders to the body’s overall state of being.
A Brief Introduction to Mindful Walking
Being “mindful” is when you are aware of your environment. It is a state of the mind where all five of your senses are active and alert. While practicing, you must keep in mind that being mindful is the core element of walking meditation. In other words, you are concentrating on your every move while walking. This is the key to mastering mindful walking. Think of it as a way to improve your attention and focus, all while physically moving. Thoughts like what you will have for lunch later in the day or what you should have said to your boss yesterday should not cross your mind. Instead, your mind should focus on truly being in the present moment. Concentrate on your breathing and bodily sensations. Smell the air around you. Notice every little detail around you. Walk slowly and steadily to appreciate the world that you are living in.
Start your Mindful Walking Journey
You can incorporate mindful walking into your daily life with ease. In the beginning, it might be hard to be mindful and not fall for distractions completely. But, with practice and giving sufficient time to master the method, you will begin to see the difference in how your body feels. The main goal is to be consciously aware of your surroundings. Practicing it for fifteen minutes three times a week is a good start for a beginner.
To start, pick a location that is relatively easy to walk on. (You do not want to stumble on your very first day of mindful walking.) Then, if possible, pick a less noisy spot, and away from pollution. It is also important that you wear comfortable clothes while practicing. Before you start walking, take a deep breath. Focus on the parts of your body, and how they are feeling. Now, start walking at a slow pace, keeping in mind your breath, and the different bodily sensations. Focus on your internal self first. Then, slowly shift your focus to the outer surroundings. Notice how the wind blows, and listen to the sounds of nature. If your thoughts are getting distracted, do not worry. You can always start again, and bring back your thoughts to the present. As you continue, you can find a rhythm for your body to follow.
By the end of your walk, gently come to a halt. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. With this, you can slowly return to continue doing your regular activities. Let a feeling of refreshment and energy burst through you as you complete your mindful walking.
The Endless Health Benefits of Mindful Walking
With the combination of walking and meditating at the same time, the benefits that come with practicing mindful walking are endless. Overall, it helps you lead a healthy lifestyle. Some of the benefits are:
- It helps decrease anxiety and stress
- It helps improve sleep patterns and get rid of insomnia
- It helps improve blood circulation, maintains sugar levels and heart rate
- It gets you in a happier mood.
Remember to enjoy the process.
For many of us, finding peace in a busy world can be overwhelming. Whether it is your work-life or personal life, finding a balance between the two is challenging. Luckily, mindful walking can help achieve that state of mind that is so hard to find. In addition, it can be practiced anywhere, at any time. For those who find sitting in one place difficult, mindful walking is the perfect solution. Moreover, the physiological and psychological benefits of mindful walking are plenty. In conclusion, practicing mindful walking brings calmness and to our body and soul. Therefore, give it a try!
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