Want to feel better about your life, be healthier, and more connected? Then you need to go for a walk. This simple activity could be the one step (that bad pun was totally intended) you need to take to get your life headed in the direction you want.
The trick is to develop a daily walking habit and then turn that into a mindful walking experience. Your approach makes all the difference.
Mindful walking pairs meditation with walking to create a one-two punch of positivity. It’s great for people who find that sitting and meditating is too boring, and they find their mind wandering too much. It also loads on some benefits that make mindful walking the new healthy-mind/healthy-body must.
Why You Should Go for a Mindful Walk (Now!)
Get ready to be persuaded to go for a mindful walk. Not only will you be reaping the benefits of mindful meditation, but you’ll also be adding the benefits of gentle exercise and some pretty awesome results when you pair the two.
And considering that many of us have been working from home and at a desk all day, this is a perfect way to get outside and get moving and some fresh air.
1. Takes You out of Your Head
Just the very act of going outside and moving helps you get out of your head and somewhere else, especially for those who have been spending a lot of time indoors. For people who struggle with their train of thought going everywhere during meditation, going outside and walking can be the easiest solution.
This isn’t to say that being outside makes you instantly better at mindfulness or meditation. People who are easily distracted may literally be captivated by a squirrel. But that’s okay; you’re supposed to be noticing the things around you.
Pay attention to the earth beneath your feet, the smells as you concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, the sounds of animals, birds, and the wind. Go ahead, watch that squirrel.
2. Strengthen Your Connection to the World
If you’re really working on getting out of your head and focusing on the environment, strengthening your connection to the world around you is an important step. You become aware of things that are outside of your physical self and out of your control, but you’ll feel a part of it.
Bolstering this idea, research has found that contact with nature can be beneficial. A meta-analysis looked at people who reported having a connection to nature and found that they also were more likely to experience greater vitality and life satisfaction. Put simply, a strong connection to nature and the world around you can make you happy.
3. Stop: Take a Moment
Going for a walk, even if it’s a brisk one, slows you down. In your day, how many times do you take a moment to just relax and enjoy where you are and what’s happening around you?
Most of us skip relaxing because we believe we’re too busy and doing something that self-indulgent will throw off our whole day, which will spiral out of control until our entire life plan is disrupted.
When you read it, it sounds a bit ridiculous, right? But that’s the feeling many people have. It’s important to keep plowing ahead with the end goal in sight. The problem with that attitude is that if that’s your only approach, you miss everything along the way.
Mindful walking gives you time to breathe deeply, relax, and pay attention to what’s happening around you. It lets you slip out of the rat race for a little while. If you can’t talk yourself into those benefits, keep in mind that every walk is helping you reach your step goals.
4. Work on Intentions
Too often, people think of meditation or mindfulness as a time to set goals and plot a course toward realizing them. This leaves you with an uncomfortable sense of struggle, and that’s not what mindfulness or meditation is all about.
When you open yourself to the moment, you realize that a goal is not about the moment, it’s about a future moment. Instead, you want to think about intentions. Intentions can lead to goals, but they are not goals. They’re an acknowledgment of your willingness to try to be an active part of your own life.
5. Mindfulness Mastery
Mindfulness is tricky when you first try to practice it. You often hear how it can be the key to feeling happier and more in touch with your life and the world around you, but it’s not easy, and don’t let anyone tell you it is.
Mindfulness is a skill that you need to practice, and walking is a great way to start. Even if you feel like you’re completely failing on the mindfulness (and some days this will be the case), at least you’re still getting in a good walk.
Once you get better at mindfulness and have mastered it during your walks, you’ll realize that you’re doing it at other times in your day. You’ll find that you can appreciate the moment no matter where you are. Then you’ll start seeing that even the most stressful situations can be diluted by a moment of mindfulness.
6. Keeps You on Life’s Journey
Life should be full of moments of wonder and joy. You don’t need big events to find these moments; the smallest things can fill you with happiness, but you have to be open to seeing it. Mindful walks make you more attuned to the world around you, and you begin to see those miraculous little moments everywhere.
LiveWell is there to support your efforts in getting outside and walking, that’s why we designed MoveWell to contain glucosamine and chondroitin to promote optimal mobility and flexibility. MSM, AprèsFlex® Boswellia, curcumin, and hyaluronic acid are additional ingredients that will go along way in helping maintain joint health.
In addition to finding purpose in your walks, you can follow LiveWell on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs for more tips on sticking to your journey toward a life in balance.
A mile walk will take you about 20 minutes. In your busy day, carving out just 20 minutes for some gentle exercise and a mental reprieve will load you with benefits that can last the rest of the day and beyond. Getting out and going for a walk in the first part, and the second part is training your brain.
Transforming a walk into a mindful walk will take effort and discipline, but the results are worth it. The connection you build with the world around will not only help you see through opened eyes, but it will also help you feel a sense of belonging. You’ll begin to feel more connected to your own body, your dreams, and the people who really matter.
Eventually, your mindful walks will be automatic and will quickly bring you to a place of bliss and peace–and what’s better than that.
READ NEXT >>> What Is Earthing? And Should You Be Doing It?