Being Present – A simple walking exercise


woman-walking-aware-of-surroundingsThere are times when life feels too busy to take the time for a sit down meditation. Although a full focus meditation seems to bring best results you can still benefit from being “mindful” of what you are doing.

This exercise is about taking your mind away from thinking, planning and worrying for a few moments and instead putting your focus on where you are and what you are doing.

As in most “mindful, or being present meditations” Some of the benefits are:

  • Temporarily reducing stress.
  • Diverting yourself away from negative thoughts.
  • Allowing yourself to focus on your other senses can help you feel more connected to the world and a little less focused on your endless stream of thoughts and worries.
  • Allows you to be more aware of your surroundings.

In this case the mindfulness exercise is walking. You can fit this into your day as you walk anywhere. It could be just around your home or office or it could be the few blocks you walk to work, or school, or while you run errands.

As you walk bring your attention to the action of walking.

The idea is to be aware of yourself and your surroundings. Below are suggestions on how to do this.

Please change this (or add to it) to make it work for you. Personally, I am a visual person so I tend to focus on what I see more than the other senses, you may well find yourself paying more attention to sounds, smell or touch.

  • How do your feet feel as they hit the sidewalk or floors?
  • How does your body feel as you walk? As you tune into how your body feels, focus on the sensations instead of using words to describe it.
  • Do you feel a breeze on your face?
  • Do you feel wetness or dryness in the air?
  • Breath in nice long breaths and as you breath pay attention to the smells, they may be very mild or quite strong. Breath deeply really noticing all the aromas.
  • What do you see? Notice –
    • Shapes
    • Colours
    • Textures
    • Shadows

As you walk pay attention to your surroundings and the way you move through them. Allowing yourself to use all of your other senses can give you a few moments of thoughtlessness. In this case being thoughtless is good thing 🙂

As I walk I usually have a stream of thoughts that come to mind, and I have to keep bringing myself back from thinking to just seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling. At first I used to get really annoyed by how often I had to keep letting go of thoughts. After (much) practice I may still have to keep letting go of thoughts but I no longer get annoyed by it because I know that this process helps me to relax 🙂

Let me know how this exercise worked for you by making a comment below.

To your health!

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