Walking For Mindfulness is my topic for today, Mindful Tribe. I look forward to sharing with you, ‘Five Benefits of Walking'. You may already include a regular routine of walking in your life, or you may decide to start a walking practice. There are lots of benefits including the five I will outline today. I am convinced that your life will improve as a result of 30 to 60 minutes of daily walking. You may decide to walk 4 or 5 days a week rather than daily, and that will be a benefit as well.
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1/ Walk Almost Anywhere
Whether you're at home, or you're traveling, there are all sorts of options as to where you can walk. Maybe up and down the stairwells if you're in a hotel room or conference center. If you're in a hotel, ask about the location of safe pathways to walk where there are some parks and forests. Do some research to find where you can walk in the area of your home. A lot of towns and cities have pathways that are specifically designated for walking.
2/ Creates Focused Thinking
Your brain will begin to work better if you take some time to go and have a walk. How many times have you been in a stressful situation and somebody will say, Well, I'm just going for a walk. That's because a walk will release some of the pressure. Research has shown that it actually promotes the release of brain chemicals including endorphins that stimulate relaxation and can improve our mood. A walk at a comfortable pace can promote relaxation and release serotonin and dopamine to help you feel better. Dopamine is the hormone that gives us the pleasurable feeling after receiving a reward. If you're like me, you may be surprised how much better you'll feel after a walk and you'll want to continue walking for mindfulness.
3/ Increase Your Fitness Level
Walking gives you a chance to focus on your breathing, take deep breaths, get your body moving, and increase circulation because that's what we need to increase our fitness level. Walking will help increase your mindfulness and your mental fitness. It can help with stress, depression, anxiety, and it can also improve your sleep, which is a big deal because a lot of people struggle with having deep sleep and struggle with falling asleep. In the last five or six years since I've been walking and running on a daily basis, I don't have any trouble sleeping. I encourage you to start this practice of walking on a regular basis.
4/ Closer To Nature
As you walk, pay specific attention to any natural elements, including trees, or plants or water. Even if you're walking in a city there will be certain aspects of nature that you can focus on including the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. And as well as that, notice your own natural rhythm including your breathing and your heartbeat. Take time to notice as many elements of nature as you can while you walk.
5/ Mantras or Affirmations
Walking gives you a chance to focus on one or several mantras. Let the affirmations flow in your mind over and over. There are several that I use when I walk or run including, ‘My life is renewed daily; mentally, physically, emotionally'. I think of that sentence over and over and also the following sentence; ‘My life is renewed daily, mentally, physically, emotionally'. Another affirmation I like is; ‘Creativity helps me grow and thrive'. By repeating this mantra, it reminds me to include as much creativity in my life as I can. Another mantra that I like, includes the word compassion, because I believe that the more we can live our lives with compassion, the happier we'll feel, and the more contented we'll be. Thinking of compassion for others, and compassion for other things and situations truly can help us feel more compassion for ourselves. So here's the mantra that I suggest on that topic; ‘I see everyone and everything with compassion'.
And this gives me a real chance to, to stretch and exercise my ability to truly see everyone and everything with compassion. The more we can do this, I believe, the better you'll feel about yourself. It's a mindfulness exercise that really pays off.
A Walking Life
I interviewed viewed a guest named Antonia Malchik who wrote a book called A Walking Life; Reclaiming Our Health and Our Freedom One Step At a Time. I enjoyed this interesting, in-depth book about walking, so you might want to check it out. The link to the book and the episode (Episode 435) is below. She focuses on walking for mindfulness along with many interesting details and facts about walking.
- Book: A Walking Life: Reclaiming Our Health and Our Freedom One Step at a Time by Antonia Malchik
- Book: Walking: One Step At a Time by Erling Kagge and Becky L. Crook
- Book: In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration by Shane O'Mara
- App: Insight Timer
- 435 Reclaim Your Health and Freedom With a Walking Life; Antonia Malchik
- 494 Live A Well Designed Life With Dr. Kyra Bobinet
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