Here’s a challenge for your Monday – take two minutes to read this post and spend the next ten minutes taking action!
With spring finally here and the beautiful weather outside, it would be a shame not to get out and enjoy it! Which is why I’m encouraging you today to take a Mindful Walk.
We’ve discussed the value of Mindfulness in previous blog posts, but to recap, practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, boost your working memory, reduce rumination, increase focus and decrease emotional reactivity.* With so many benefits, I’m sure you can find one reason to get outside and take a walk today. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!
A Mindful Walk (the basics)
- Step outside and take a deep breath. Take notice of the feeling of the air going through your nose, down into your chest and finally expanding into your abdomen. Acknowledge your breath as you slowly exhale.
- Drop your gaze slightly. This can help you focus.
- As you begin to walk start noticing your feet. What does it feel like as each foot hits the ground? What does it sound like? Notice what you’re experiencing.
- Walk at a slow pace. You’re in no rush, even if you only have 10 min. to walk, mindfulness is about being in the present, not rushing towards the future.
Mindful Walk (extended version)
- Follow steps 1-4
- Begin to notice your surroundings. Play the five senses game. Notice one thing you hear, see, touch, smell and taste (the last one is probably best left optional).
- If something catches your attention, stop and observe it. Did you notice a flower growing on a tree? A bee flying in the grass? It’s ok to pause for a moment and simply observe.
- Notice your thoughts. Have you been distracted this whole time thinking about other things? That’s ok. Simply acknowledge the thought and imagine it blowing away in the breeze, back to your home or office, wherever you can deal with it later.
- Return to noticing the physical sensations of your body. As you finish your walk, return to noticing how your feet touch the ground, how your arms swing at your side, how your breath feels going in and out of your body.