Walking as Meditation to Make Stressful Thoughts PositiveMay 25, 2021
I'm sure we've all had moments in our lives where we feel stressed out. Whether you're at home, work, school, or somewhere else- it's impossible to not have stressful thoughts cross your mind from time to time.
The problem with stress is that there are so many different ways for us to deal with it. Some people choose to take a nap, others go for a walk, and some even listen to music!
While these can be great solutions sometimes, they just aren't enough. That's why I like walking meditation! It allows me the chance to clear my head and focus on something other than my problems without feeling guilty about taking a break from them.
Walking meditation is perfect because anyone of any age can do it anywhere at any time!
If you don't have time to take a full-length walk, try taking short walks throughout your day - even just 10 minutes at a time is beneficial!
If you want the opportunity for inner peace, then walking meditation should definitely be part of your life!
Can mindful walking be a form of meditation?
We often associate mindfulness with sitting meditation while sitting cross-legged, saying, "OOOOOOOmmmmmmmmm."
However, meditation can be so much more than this!
A Walking meditation practice concentrates on using physical sensations to bring us back to our bodies by paying attention to what's happening in your feet, legs, hips, arms.
A mindfulness walk helps clear away mental distractions and brings you into the immediate moment.
Walking can help people think more clearly, feel less stressed and lose weight.
How to be in the present moment while walking?
Many people will find it easier to be present during meditation while walking.
Start by taking a few mindful steps, such as being aware of the sensation of your feet touching the earth and how your body moves with each step.
Next, focus on your breath. Follow your breath into your diaphragm as you inhale and notice how it exits your body as you exhale.
While you walk, notice what's happening around you without judging or analyzing it. Try to stay in the present moment by not thinking about past events or future worries.
Take notice of what is going on with your body right now.
Weave these mindful moments together into an entire walk or practice them in shorter pauses during your day.
No matter what you do, they will help clear away mental distractions and bring you back into the present moment.
What is walking meditation & its body and mind benefits?
There are many body and mind benefits of mindful walking.
For the body:
You'll enjoy its calming and energizing effects, which will help reduce stress levels in your body. This can improve blood circulation to vital organs like the brain and reduce the risk for heart disease.
Your joints will also benefit from all that time spent on your feet—walking, in general, reduces arthritis pain while limiting wear and tear on your hips and knees.
For the mind:
Walking is a meditation practice that can be used by most people regardless if they have any experience with mindfulness or not.
Walking meditation can help you clear away mental distractions and bring you back into the present.
You'll be able to push away intrusive thoughts and worries while enjoying increased focus and clarity.
This is because walking meditation requires that you not judge or analyze it; instead, try to stay in the present moment by not thinking about past events or future worries.
You'll experience a level of mindful awareness that will help you to clear away mental distractions and bring yourself back into the present moment.
Walking meditation has been shown to increase creativity, enhance problem-solving skills, improve memory and focus, and reduce symptoms associated with depression.
How can I be mindful while walking?
There are many ways you can practice mindful walking. Try something new and incorporate the following techniques into your daily walk:
- Walk with gratitude in your heart for all of the blessings that have come to you.
- Notice where you're putting each foot down as if it were a sacred moment when connecting with the earth.
- Slow down and take a mindful breath with each step.
- Feel the movement in your hips as you walk. Notice how they sway from side to side, like waves rolling on the ocean.
- Focus on breathing deeply into your body as you walk, enjoying nature around you, or listening to calming music.
- When thoughts come up about stressful situations, try not to fight them but instead let them go with each step.
Reflecting on these things will help bring more presence into your life and remind yourself of what's truly important.
Can I do guided meditations while walking?
Walk as you normally would, and at the same time focus on your breathing.
Every exhale will release tension from head to toe; every inhale brings life into the mind and body.
Imagine that with each step, you're stepping deeper into yourself - grounding in presence by making contact with the energy of the earth through one foot before moving onto the other foot.
You may want to walk naturally or jog lightly, depending on what pace feels natural for you, without forgetting to breathe deeply all throughout your steps.
The main point is to pay attention to the physical sensations in your body. For example, feel the movement of the different muscles and how they interact with one another.
Also, feel your connection to the environment that surrounds you as your practicing your meditations.
Is walking meditation effective for reducing anxiety and stress?
Walking has been shown to increase the serotonin levels in your brain and lead to a sense of calm.
This can be especially helpful for people who suffer from anxiety or depression.
Still, it also helps with other aspects of life like reducing stress, relieving muscle tension, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep quality... It's hard not to feel good when you're out on a nice walk. So get outside today!
What are the 6 benefits of mindfulness training?
Self-awareness is the realization that we are a part of something greater than ourselves.
This awareness can be achieved through mindfulness training which helps us understand our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Accepting oneself for who one is will lead to increased happiness in life by coming to peace with their flaws and strengths and seeing what is good in themselves.
Self-awareness can be achieved by a mindful walking practice.
Reduced stress levels
Mindfulness training has been shown to reduce stress levels and can change our response to stressful events.
Research in this field found that mindfulness-based treatments such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises effectively reduce chronic pain and other health disorders.
These practices can teach people how their bodies react during times of stress.
Improved concentration skills
Walking meditation can be a great way to improve concentration skills.
The calming nature of walking meditation can help people find a calm focus, and it can be an excellent tool for students to use when studying.
This is because walking requires one's full attention, leading to better concentration during work or school sessions.
In addition, this type of meditation can also make the task of walking itself more enjoyable.
Often people prefer mindful walking to traditional forms of meditation because it's easier to practice.
This is because walking can be done at any place or anytime, unlike other types of meditations that require a quiet space.
Increased creativity is another benefit of mindful walking.
Neuroimaging studies have shown that walking on a treadmill can increase the connectivity of brain regions involved in creative thought.
Walking indoors or outdoors has been linked to increased creativity and better decision-making skills.
The stimulating effects of walking should help you think more creatively about life and the challenges you face.
Better problem-solving abilities
Walking meditation has also been shown to improve problem-solving skills.
For most people, walking is a mindless activity that they engage in without much thought - but it turns out there's actually a lot of benefit for you when done with intention!
In fact, studies have found that mental exercises such as these can help improve your cognitive function and decision-making abilities.
Greater empathy for others
Walking meditation makes you more empathetic!
Makes sense, right? Empathy is a crucial component of the human condition, and walking meditation can help improve it.
The feeling of empathy has three components:
- You feel others' emotions as your own
- Take on their perspective to get inside their head (emotional empathy)
- You offer support when necessary for someone else's distress or misfortune
When you take time to focus inwards, often, you become more aware of others.
You can take the stress out of your life by walking.
Try it for yourself and see how you feel! Whether you are worried about work, struggling with an illness, or trying to figure out what's next in your career, walking meditation helps you find peace through the power of movement.
The first thing is simple – get up from where you are sitting right now and go outside for at least 5 minutes.
Take deep breaths as often as necessary during this time and pay attention to any thoughts that come into your head. Try not to judge them; just let them be there without attaching too much meaning or emotion to them, so they don't overwhelm you. Then, as long as these thoughts aren't harming you or others, let them take their course.
The other tip is also simple – walking meditation. Remember that your mind and body are connected.
You can't just ignore the physical toll of stress on your body without paying attention to its effects on your thoughts. The best way to do this is to practice walking meditation.
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