Mindful Walking

Walking is another wonderful way to help us feel better.  Just 10 minutes a day has been scientifically proven to help us feel more grounded, connected and reduce feelings of anxiety.  We are made to move, not to sit for hours at a time in front of a screen.  In today’s world most of our jobs require us to sit for hours at a time.  Finding time in our busy lives to move can be challenging.  Our bodies are either moving or still there is no in between.  Whereas our mind are constantly moving from past, to future, to present back to future to past etc. etc. Bringing this to our awareness is the beginning of changing of brains and doing something to help us calm down our minds.  Walking mindfully is one practice that can really help us relax our brains.  Try to introduce a 10 minute walking practice into your day preferably first thing in the morning or at least before 12pm as the sun is at its’ highest (even on a cloudy day, the sun is always there).  You will help increase the serotonin in your brain if you walk at this time.  Serotonin is believed to act as a mood stabiliser and it aids with healthy sleep patterns. A mindful walk is a walk without any technology, no phones, no podcasts, no music; just you and your body.  It can help to use your senses as you practice walking mindfully, walking in awareness of your surroundings.  Which one of your senses is most prominent, start with that one. What can you hear, what can you see, what can you smell, what can you taste, what can you sense, this practice brings you into your body and out of your head.  For me personally I love to walk barefoot and research shows this practice can help us feel more grounded in our bodies and connected to the earth. Living in a country where we can get 4 seasons in one day, it is not always practical if I want to stay physically healthy.  I try to walk around my back garden barefoot when the weather allows it. I find it is an amazing way for me to ground myself as long as I remember to check for dog poop before hand! Nothing worse than practicing a beautiful mindful walk only to step on dog poop. One thing for sure is that my sense of smell gets very heightened now before I start.  One time standing barefoot on dog poop was enough to ensure I would never do that again!  I practice mindful movement, stretching, breathing and listening for even just a minute if that is all I have time for, it is an instant stabiliser for me.  I am always barefoot in the house no matter what time of the year it is.  This may make you shiver at the thought but I can honestly tell you the more you do it the more you become used to it and eventually your feet are always warm.  Once you have managed a week of daily 10 minute walks try increasing the time so that you can allow up to 30 minutes a day.  I recommend having a journal so that you can start taking notes of the changes you have noticed.  You will be amazed at how many changes have happened in a short period of time. This is a wonderful practice of self-care and taking the well deserved time for you and your wellbeing. Small steps to improve your health and wellbeing.