6 Elements to consider on your next walk.
Are you always walking from point A to point B in a rush without looking at the environment you are in?
Do you consider how your senses respond to certain elements that surround you when you are walking?
Thich Nhat Hanh explains that “mindful walking is a profound and pleasurable way to deepen our connection with our body and the earth”.
THE PRACTICE OF MINDFUL WALKING CAN TURN A REGULAR EVERYDAY ACTION INTO A HAPPY MOMENT TO REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE YOUR AWARENESS AND IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH.
AT HOUSE OF HAPPINESS WE WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU 6 ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER ON YOUR NEXT WALK TO DISCOVER A NEW WAY OF ENJOYING YOUR TIME IN NATURE.
1) Grounding Exercises
Grounding exercises are activities you can do to bring yourself into contact with the present moment – the here and now.
On your next mindful walk consider the following grounding techniques to start with the right momentum:
-Say the date, time, your name and age. Stating something so obvious will help your mind to connect with reality instead of getting lost in thoughts.
-Touch and feel your hands and feet whilst closing your eyes. We could call this the tiniest form of a mini body scan – meditative practice that involves mindfully scanning your body. Once we open you will be able to learn this powerful mindfulness exercise.
-Rub your hands together and then place them against your heart as you breathe calmly in and out.
2) Mental Check-In
To conduct a mindful walk you will need to conduct a mental check-in, a technique to make you self-aware of your feelings, senses, reactions, thoughts and behavior in an objective manner. When reaching for self-awareness, you will notice that you will be happier and more in control of your emotional state.
After your grounding exercises ask yourself the following question:
How stressed, energetic and happy do you feel on a scale from 1 to 10?
You could come back to your initial check-in at the end of your nature walk and see if anything has changed.
3) Embodiment Exercises
Embodiment can be seen as the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind. Essentially, if you are feeling sad or unhappy, use your body to influence your mood.
You can achieve this for your walk by smiling or putting yourself in a happy position for a few minutes. We guarantee instant results.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of embodiment exercises, our happiness instructor and nature walk guide Jasmin Lotter provides guides and insights on how to conduct them correctly.
An important element of any mindful walk is to reflect. The process of reflection allows an individual to increase their feeling of being connected as you can:
-Pay attention to what is happening right now.
-Become more aware of what you are feeling in the moment.
-Understand the place you find yourself in regardless of thoughts, feelings and emotions.
-Appreciate being alive in the present moment.
5) Be Grateful
As we have already presented in Would you like to be happier? Start Writing, expressing gratitude and being grateful is a powerful element to boost your levels of happiness and enjoyment of a particular moment or activity.
During or after your walk express your gratitude for the occasion you experienced.
6) Consider the Benefits of Nature
Our final element we suggest to enjoy a mindful walk is to remind yourself of all the wonderful benefits you can enjoy whilst being in nature. Spending time connected to nature is an antidote for stress, reduces anxiety and can even lower your blood pressure to name a few.
If you would like to know more about these benefits you can read our previous article: Take a happy and healthy walk in nature.
Have you used this guide on your latest walk? Let us know in the comment section if it made a difference.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a 93 year old vietnamese Thien Buddhist monk who has published over 130 books and is considered a pioneer in the teachings of mindfulness to a mainstream audience.