Finding time to meditate isn’t always possible. But, mindful walking gives the same benefits, such as reduced levels of stress and better physical and mental well being. Mindfulness is a mental state you can achieve through concentrated awareness on the immediate moment. While being mindful, you quietly recognize and accept your feelings, physical sensations, and thoughts. By doing so, you can restore your sense of calm and composure in a better way. It can also be used as the therapeutic technique. Research roves that the application of mindfulness in daily activities is both powerful and productive, especially when attempting to overcome stress.
What is mindful walking?
Mindful walking consolidates the basic principles of meditation, such as breathing in the moment and relaxation with balanced walking. Although traditional meditation is done while seated still, Mindful Walking is done on the move. The key is to be alert and aware of the experience while walking – the views and sounds of your surroundings, the feeling of your feet on the ground and the rhythm of your pace. It involves an increased focus on all the senses, exploring both inner and outer landscapes, and their interconnectedness. Mindful walking is an exceptional way for busy individuals to fuse a meditation practice into their daily routine – it just needs paying a different quality of attention to the thing you’re already doing.
How does mindful walking help?
With so much going on around you, it may seem hard to free yourself of all the noise in your head. Although it doesn’t need that much time, it may, nevertheless, feel like a long time. Mindful walking allows you to focus on your body in action, you can focus on your feet, the ground beneath your heels and even the air around you. It allows you the required space to get out of one’s head.
If there aren’t any gardens near your college or work or anywhere else to walk then there is a different way to attain the same effect. Mindful walking indoors. In any way possible, it can be easier to walk inside, maybe in a circle or in a straight line, anywhere, but the sole purpose is to concentrate truly on your body’s internal experience.
But you should have clarity in your motivation to walk persistently in the room, to be on the track you have chosen. Once you get moving, the rhythm of your body and the purity of the task soon calms your mind. Even 10 minutes on your break can positively make a difference.
Beginners of mindful walking usually wonder how it really release stress. They also usually have questions about if one needs to deliberately shut your mind from stressful emotions, thoughts, etc., or do you follow the process of letting go?
Mindful walking eases the stress release, as the motive is to unite with the observed experience of stress in the body and mind, the opposite of shutting off from it or suppressing the uninvited and sometimes unpleasant feelings of stress.
Walking works, at the minimum, on two levels to destress:
- The mind is concentrating on the minute by minute experience of the walking motion, the setting of the foot, the shifting of weight from leg to leg, and not on the cause of what’s provoking the stress response. Just staying balanced and straight is sufficient to focus the mind.
- The purpose is to recognise and connect with the senses, emotions, and thoughts, no matter how repulsive and undesirable, e.g. I can feel my heart racing, I regard my racing obsessing thoughts.
- The impressive thing is the quickness with which walking relieves stress. It’s good news for those who can’t engage in the high-intensity workout: They can capitalize on mindful walking during their strolls.