Walking Meditation: Enhance Your Mental Health and Mindfulness

30 May 2024

Walking Meditation: Enhance Your Mental Health and Mindfulness

Think about the last time you went for a walk. Were you distracted by a phone call or listening to music or a podcast? It’s natural for our minds to drift when we walk, but walking meditation offers a different approach. Walking meditation is an opportunity to listen to your body and calm your mind, significantly benefiting your mental health and awareness of your surroundings.


What is Walking Meditation?

Walking meditation is designed to synchronise your body and mind while you are out in nature. It’s a great way to train the mind in awareness, bringing your attention to the present moment. Each time we drift from the present, we miss appreciating our surroundings and the beauty of nature.


How to Practice Walking Meditation

1. Body Check

Before you start your walk, take a moment to notice how your body feels. Are there any areas of tightness? Be mindful of your posture. Avoid walking with your hands in your pockets as it can negatively impact your posture.

2. Observe Your Surroundings

  • What Can You See? Bring your attention to the visual details around you. Notice the birds singing in the trees or children playing in the park.
  • What Can You Hear? Pay attention to the sounds around you. Are there people talking, birds chirping, or cars passing by? Simply acknowledge these sounds without focusing on them.
  • What Can You Smell? Notice any scents around you, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Some smells may evoke memories, but the goal is to acknowledge and let them go without dwelling on them.


The Importance of Being Present

Being in the present moment is crucial. Each time we lose touch with the present, we miss out on the beauty of our surroundings. Walking meditation helps shift our attention from the thoughts in our head to the environment around us. Unlike traditional meditation, which often involves sitting with closed eyes, walking meditation is about mindfulness and being aware of our current environment.


Steps to Incorporate Walking Meditation

If you are a patient at Willow, we can provide a link to download our guided walking meditation. This can help you train your mind to stay in the present moment. If you prefer not to use a guided meditation or are not a patient at Willow, follow these steps to practice mindfulness during your walks, whether they are fast-paced commutes or gentle strolls through nature.

  • Start with a Body Check: Notice any areas of tension and correct your posture.
  • Engage Your Senses: Pay attention to what you can see, hear, and smell around you without getting lost in thought.
  • Acknowledge and Let Go: Notice your surroundings and sensations, acknowledge them, and let them go to stay present.


Long-term Benefits

Regular practice of walking meditation makes it easier to achieve a state of awareness and embrace the present moment. Over time, you will experience significant benefits to your mental health and overall well-being.

Next time you go for a walk, try walking meditation. The more you practice, the easier it will be to get into a state of awareness and fully embrace the present moment. You’ll reap the benefits in the long-term, enhancing both your mental health and mindfulness. For more tips on enhancing your well-being, book a consultation with our experts at Willow. Let’s walk towards a healthier, more mindful life together.

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