Mindfulness walking tips
It can be challenging adapting to the current situation we find ourselves in, but a daily outdoor walk in your local surroundings should be an important part of your day. Even if you don't have access to green spaces, reduced traffic should enhance the birdsong above you. Mindfulness coach Brenda Shankey shares her top tips for how to clear your mind of clutter to really maximise your walk.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a buzz term used to describe a mental state achieved by focusing on the here and now. By living in the present moment, we forget the regrets of the past or worries of the future and allow our minds to relax, destress and refocus. It's about creating‘self care’ time.
Brenda says ‘I am a huge advocate of incorporating mindfulness into our everyday lives. To be useful mindfulness techniques need to be used in ways that are realistic and achievable and a walk is a great starting point. It’s about adapting the techniques to suit modern day living, and applying them in a consistent way so that they become part of your everyday routine.'
‘You can walk mindfully anywhere but try to get out into nature if you can. Take 10-15 minutes a day to ground yourself in the present moment. Focus on that moment, concentrate on noticing the world around you – the sights, sounds and smells. Your senses are heightened when you relax. By doing this you also give your body a break from the constant flow of adrenaline that triggers anxiety and stress.’
- Take your time and notice every step along the way
- Add calming music as this can be therapeutic in itself
- Use your senses to enjoy the nature around you - even if you aren't in a green space, listen to the sound of the birds and smell the fresh air.
- Focus your mind on where you are now and where you want to go – off load your concerns and visualise your worries floating away.
'Mindfulness is a learned skill and what you want is for it to become habitual without causing you stress. A daily mindfulness walk will allow you to rest your mind and recharge.'