How many of us walk with our heads down under an umbrella or focused on our phones? When we walk like this our minds are busy elsewhere and we don’t experience the full benefits that this simple exercise can give.
Walking can be a great opportunity to practice mindfulness and improve our mental health as well as our physical wellbeing.
The next time you go for a walk try and see how many senses you can engage. Notice what sounds you can hear, what smells are present and what things you can see. Notice what physical sensations you are aware of such as the feeling of your feet in trainers or the breeze on your face. If you notice your mind wandering off elsewhere, gently bring it back to focusing on these senses. Without self-judgement or criticism, you can also gently acknowledge what your mood or feelings are like at that particular moment. Maybe noting if this changes at all during the exercise.
This type of practice can be applied to all sorts of activities from drinking tea, eating your meals or even cleaning your teeth. Focusing purposefully on a particular activity allows your brain to calm for a brief period rather than trying to multi-task.
Regular short bursts of mindfulness practice can be beneficial in helping to reduce stress and anxiety. if you would like to know more about mindfulness please contact the practice on 0161 440 0298