"Wherever you are, be there totally."
How often do we find ourselves rushing from appointment to appointment, checking off items on our to-do list, only to get to the end of the day and forget how we got there? It has become the norm in our current world to move from task to task, filling our days with work, family, friends, meetings, social events, workouts, and get togethers, yet never truly being present with where we find ourselves. It can be so easy to be thinking about and planning for the next event on our calendars that we end up missing out on being with what is right in front of us. We've already learned how short our attention spans are (think 8 seconds). The ability to be present and fully commit to the moment we are in is not something that comes natural to us. Despite this, we know that to be able to show up and be our best, it is imperative to be fully present with where our feet are. Having a sitting mindfulness practice is a great way to train this skill, but if sitting still is challenging, then an alternative can be going for walk.
Completing a walking mindfulness practice is an excellent way for us to take a break, exercise our minds, and enjoy movement. Some preliminary research shows that taking a walk, especially in a green space, can be a great way to ease brain fatigue, enhance attention, and aid in stress recovery.* How many times do we wish we could experience those benefits during our day? The best part about going for a mindful walk is that we can do it anywhere. We can walk inside, whether that be where we live, work, or the grocery store to name a few. An even better place to walk is outside. Walking outside and connecting with nature has shown more benefits compared to walking in a busy city scape. We can find a park nearby, go outside in the yard where we live, or walk amongst trees near the workplace, and focus on what it feels like to walk. What can we notice about each step, in the present moment, without trying to get somewhere?
Next time we are experiencing a state of stress and anxiety, getting distracted or rundown, let's try to go for a 5-10 minute walk to recharge our energy, bring our attention to the present moment, and aid in stress recovery!
Click here for a 5 minute walking mindfulness practice to try out. Put the headphones in, and give it a try!