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The Benefits of Going on Mindful Walks

Updated on May 31, 2019
Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile image

Attending a mindfulness course to gain further insight. I practice meditation daily.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, being mindful of what you are thinking and the world around you. It is a practice that has existed since ancient times but is again being brought to life. Mindfulness has the potential to aid people with helping to reduce stress which can help to improve overall wellbeing. Having high levels of stress constantly has a damaging affect on both an individual's physical and mental health.

By practicing mindfulness it becomes possible to be ever more aware of what you are thinking about. This can then help you to stay more switched on and stay more energetic for longer.

Mindfulness Introduction Question

Have you heard about Mindfulness before reading this article?

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How can I Incorporate Mindfulness with Walking

When most people walk, you will be surprised to know the majority of people are busy in thought or staring constantly at their smartphones. This can mean that an individual is not necessarily focused on what they are actually thinking about or what is going on in the world around them.

The way to go about being more mindful when walking is starting to focus on silencing the mind. Pay attention to what your surroundings are like. Here are somethings you could focus on when attempting to be more mindful:

  • What can you see? Pay close attention to traffic. Plan ahead when crossing a road or highway. This will not only increase safety but will keep you grounded.
  • If walking in a quiet area focus on the silence and try to allow your attention to drift gradually from thought to thought.
  • What is the temperature like? What is the weather like? Again this sounds like obvious things but by paying your attention you will feel more relaxed and more present.
  • What can you smell? Are there any distinct smells or scents that you can smell?
  • Noises - What direction is the sound coming from? Again when crossing things like roads this can help with your perception of oncoming vehicles.
  • What is the gradient like? Are you climbing up a hill or are you going down a gentle slope?

By being aware and not focusing too deeply on some of the things above it becomes noticeable that your thinking may slow down and your brain may silence. All that noise of countless thoughts begins to silence. This is where the meditation element can be introduced in things like walking as part of your daily routine.

Again, it is important to emphasis, not every walk has to be that mindful as described above but intentionally focusing on these things may be beneficial.

From my personal experience of practicing mindful walking it has definitely benefited me and has allowed me to control and reduce stress.

If you feel like this is something that may be beneficial to you, don't hesitate to try it. Also sharing with friends and loved ones can potentially be useful.

Potential Health Benefits of Walking and Mindfulness in General

  • Reduces stress - endorphins are released that make you feel good and more relaxed.
  • Increased awareness and concentration
  • May aid with better sleep as walking and exercise in general - yes, something even as simple as walking can help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin which helps to regulate mood. Hormones such as melatonin are also more regulated which may help with getting a better night's sleep.

Tips to Improve the Effectiveness of your Mindful Walks

  • Try putting your smartphone away. This will make sure you are not distracted by reading text messages or browsing the Internet.
  • Walk in an area that you know well or try exploring a new area. Experiment, see what works well with you.
  • Try and at least spend 20 minutes on your walk. It is important to give adequate time to let yourself experience the mindfulness benefits.
  • Try and have a friend or relative accompany you. This way you can share the benefits and keep each other motivated.

Mindfulness Poll Question

Is Mindfulness Walking something that you would be willing to try?

See results

Conclusion

Overall, whether you feel as if mindfulness is something that you want to incorporate in your life or not, we can all agree, health is a vital part of our being. The common saying that I always like to quote is "Health is Wealth". Through having good health one is able to lead a more fulfilling life.

© 2019 Gupi

Comments

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    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      4 months ago

      Hi Em,

      Thank you for your feedback. I am glad that you enjoy taking mindful walks and find them peaceful.

    • Em Heard profile image

      Em Heard 

      4 months ago from Wiltshire, UK

      Great article Gupi. I practise mindful walking when I take my dogs out. It is amazing what you see and hear if you are in the moment. It's the most peaceful part of my day.

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      4 months ago

      Hi Clifford,

      Thank you for your feedback. I am glad you found the article useful.

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      4 months ago

      Hi Leland,

      I am glad that you found my article useful. Thank you for your feedback.

    • Realistics profile image

      Vincent Micholo 

      4 months ago from New york

      A well written article gupi

    • Leland Johnson profile image

      Leland Johnson 

      4 months ago from Midland MI

      Good article Gupi- My big take away is to silence the smart phones.

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      4 months ago

      Hi Marlene,

      Thank you for your feedback. I am glad that you found the article useful.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      4 months ago from USA

      I have heard of mindfulness, and you explain it very well. I like the idea of mindful walking.

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      5 months ago

      Hi Shaloo,

      Thank you for sharing your views.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      5 months ago from India

      Mindful walking is a kind of meditation...very relaxing and rejuvenating!

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      5 months ago

      Hi Aurelio, I am glad that you found the article and the below comments useful :)

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      5 months ago from Orange County, CA

      I have heard the word but was not aware of the technique until this article. Thanks for enlightening me.

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      5 months ago

      I also find OM chanting helpful whilst meditating at times :)

    • boo77boo profile image

      brian 

      5 months ago from uk

      Yes it's very powerful works even better in a group session I don't know what research you have done on the OM chant it pronunced AUM I've heard it been called the lazy man's meditation but I'm glad it helps all the best Marlene

    • MarleneWheeler profile image

      MarleneWheeler 

      5 months ago

      Hi Gupi, I'm looking forward to my meditation journey. I practice yoga on a regular basis, but I've always avoided the meditation part. I feel like I'm ready now and taking baby steps is a good place to start whether it's a walk in the park or chanting OM. Thank You for this article.

    • MarleneWheeler profile image

      MarleneWheeler 

      5 months ago

      Hi Brian, Thank you for that tidbit. I'm definitely going to give chanting the word OM a try, shutting down the constant chatter is not easy, in fact.....

      .....I just tried it, and it works :) Repeating the word OM gave my mind something to focus on, and with the deep breathing, I was very relaxed. I can certainly feel the benefits. Thank You

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      5 months ago

      Hi Marelene, Thank you for your feedback. When first starting off with meditation it can be tricky in general. Patience is the key. Remember whatever you practice grows stronger :)

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      5 months ago

      Hi Brian, thanks for sharing your views :)

    • boo77boo profile image

      brian 

      5 months ago from uk

      Hi its not easy at first many years ago I was so determined to do this it was eighteen months before I relealised meditation was working some people said I looked so chilled and in the moment not only that you begin to hear and see things I'd normally miss so I know it works but if you want the easy way our try OM chanting for 45 mins good luck and all the best folks

    • MarleneWheeler profile image

      MarleneWheeler 

      5 months ago

      Thank you, that was very insightful. I've just started practicing meditation and it's not as easy as it sounds; what with the constant chatter always present in our minds, but I'm working on it. I always thought I had to sit a quiet room to meditate, but walking in the park will definitely work for me.

    • boo77boo profile image

      brian 

      5 months ago from uk

      There are a lot of good useful tips in this article for the beginners whether it's for mindful walking ,eating,listening or observing

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      5 months ago

      Hey Robert,

      Thank you for the feedback. Yes walking is generally considered a fundamental part of staying well in Indian culture. It is encouraged to take walks to stay fit and well into old age. This is useful exercise but the key is to be mindful and not just be on auto pilot, I find from personal experience :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      5 months ago

      Thank you for these tips. There are many Indians where I live. I've noticed many of them go out for walks. Are mindful walks popular in India?

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