Mindful walking, sometimes called walking meditation, is a practice that involves taking time purely for yourself away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. To walk mindfully, you'll maintain conscious awareness of the movement of the body and the environment surrounding you. Studies have shown overwhelmingly positive effects on both the brain and overall mood of individuals who’ve participated in this type of meditation and so it makes sense it's catching on.
Incorporating mindful walking into your life brings the body and mind back into focus.
We live in a world that is forever moving; this practice can give us the opportunity to step outside and be one with nature. Even if there's no access to the outdoors, walking meditation can work even by just finding a quiet place that you feel safe to wander around in. That might be a trip to the park, a walk around the block, or even just wandering through a building. The key is to make the effort to focus your mind and all your senses on the task at hand.
When people walk it’s generally to get to a destination, and people often don't focus on the walk itself. It's just a means to an end. Mindful walking takes you out of that haze.
To start a walking mediation, try to put yourself in the mindset that you're about to walk mindfully. It prepares your body and mind to be aware from the moment you stand up. Your attention will automatically hone in on the arms and legs, and how they move and feel.
Focus on breathing steadily and naturally, be aware of the swift movement of every step you take. Take in the smells of where you are, feel the ground beneath your feet, pay attention to what you walk past: the colours and textures of the world around you. Take it all in, appreciate it all. You'll find it eye-opening when you notice much more you see and understand when mindfully walking.
The main concept behind mindfulness is being present in the now. So mindful walking is an amazing way of achieving this, as it allows you to be present in your now, every step and every breath you take. And when you can keep your attention on the now, ill feelings, stresses and impending life problems tend to take a backseat.
So keep on walking!
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