MEDITATION. After reading the word meditation, did you see a person sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, and chanting OM? Well if that image scares you….have no fear because mindful walking is here!
Mindful walking works extremely well for a Type A personality with lots of energy, just like me. This non-traditional form of meditation was a key factor in helping my recovery from corporate burnout. Daily walks around the Jersey City Waterfront helped quiet my overactive mind and release years of the stress out of my body.
Walking with friends and chit-chatting the whole entire time is not mindful walking. Since meditation is about awareness, you should be focusing on your steps and taking note of your pace and surroundings.
Here are 3 reasons to try mindful walking:
1. Connects You With the Environment: In mindful walking, all of our senses are actively engaged in the experience of walking. We are deliberately being mindful of the earth beneath our feet, the air flowing in and out of our lungs, the sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes that we experience as we walk.
2. Gets You Out of Your Head: Taking a walk outdoors can break you out of a mental fog or a perpetual train of thought. This interruption may only be a change of scenery, which might be all you need to shift your awareness out of your conditioned mind and open you up to a more universal perspective.
3. Expands Everyday Mindfulness: It’s a practice that develops over time. The more you do it, the more it becomes a part of your being. This integration of mindfulness starts to spill over into other areas of your life, infusing them with deeper awareness.
It’s crucial to give the mind a rest for your brain to function optimally. Next time you walk, turn it into a form of meditation by practicing awareness, being in the present, and self-control.