For many years, it has been proven that mindfulness meditation helps in stress management. Also, it tackles some of the factors which might directly or indirectly lead to stress. And for sure, it is an easy way to relieve stress.
Being stressed causes anxiety and depression, but with walking meditation, you can experience peace from within and a soothing relieve.
Understanding Mindful Walking Meditation
Mindful walking meditation is a practice that requires training the mental aspect of one’s life. It comes with varying techniques which can include visualizing your thought, being aware of your surrounding and breathing practices.
Therefore mindful walking meditation simply means being aware of your breathing as you take each step. Breathe in when you take a step, and breathe out when you take another step. At the same time, being mindful of the things around you like nature, signposts, vehicles, and others depending on where you are.
Walking/mindfulness meditation has been practiced over the year in Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea. And it has been found to have a great benefit on the person practicing it.
It can be practiced anywhere like on sidewalks, serene environments, malls, etc. Though, what matters most is how to perform this kind of meditation to help you overcome stress.
There is no formal or informal way to perform mindfulness meditation, but there are some simple practices that help guide you.
Ways to Perform Walking/Mindfulness Meditation to Reduce Stress
- Stay focused
- Attain a suitable position
- Relax when breathing
- Slow your walking pace
- Practice in a serene environment
- Have a positive attitude
- Don’t be result conscious
- Build your mind
- Make it part of you
- Try another style
There is no meditation that isn’t centered on being focused. One of the essential elements of effective meditation is concentration.
When performing a walking meditation, we tend to focus on our steps, breathe and some other important things around us.
These things limit our minds from wandering on its purpose. Also, free the mind from every sort of distractions that might cause stress.
When you focused on your steps or breathe while performing this kind of meditation, it will help guide your thought.
However, most times, your thought might wander to other things no matter how much you have practiced this.
But when such things happen, all you need to do is to gently return your mind or thought to your focus and continue.
Attain a suitable position
Various kinds of meditations come with different positions/posture such as walking, lying down, kneeling, sitting, full lotus position, etc.
When we walk comfortably in mindfulness meditation, we make our bodies relaxed. Also, we maintain a good posture to avoid mental and physical stress which comes with bad posture.
Just know that when you are not standing upright, sitting upright, etc., you are most likely to face some kinds of stress.
Also, when we talk about being comfortable, it includes wearing supportive shoes and dressing accordingly to suit the practice.
Relax when breathing
Breathing is one of the techniques in meditation. When we breathe in and out, it gives our body a soothing relieve, and again, keeps us in a relaxation mood.
This technique is very necessary as breathing is naturally a normal body function. When we breathe during mindful meditation, let it be slow and deep. Once more, allow our focus to be on the movement of the walking meditation.
Deep breathing has been discovered as one of the ways to reduce stress. When you breathe deeply and slowly it helps to eliminate some of the factors that can lead to stress.
Slow your walking pace
One of the ways to reduce stress is by walking. When we walk, our bodies increase the production of endorphins. This helps to reduce the hormones known to cause stress, as well as other factors like depression which can lead to stress.
When you engage yourself in walking meditation or mindfulness walking, it is very essential that you monitor your pace. The pace has to be slow, so as to enable you to stay focused and more relaxed.
Mindful walking meditation has a lot of benefits. Not only does it help us control our thought, but also serves as a means of exercise at the same time. Generally, walking is good exercise for the body, but the pace matters a lot.
Practice in a serene environment
When performing any kind of meditation, remember to do it in a cool quiet environment. This is so because it helps to keep one’s mind coordinated and focused.
Though, people who are familiar with walking meditation or any kind of meditation can do it anywhere because they must have mastered it.
Those who are still beginning to engage in meditation should do so in quiet places as they are yet to build on their focus in order to avoid unnecessary distractions.
But they can start practicing it anywhere when they advance in the act. This will enable them to perform in places like grocery stores when the queue is long, traffic jams, and other high-stressed circumstances.
Have a positive attitude
When we meditate, we tend to occupy our minds which thoughts which are positive. Focus on things around and don’t be judgmental of your emotions. Such emotions can trigger stress.
Don’t be result conscious
Engaging in meditation requires little time, as less as a minute for beginners and as much as 30 minutes or more for those who have mastered it. In some cases, it may not yield a fast result.
Most times, results may vary from person to person. This might be determinate by factors such as being distracted often and on, having judgmental thoughts and other attitudes which can affect negatively.
When this happens continually, it is likely there won’t be any noticeable improvement, and even if there is, it will be little.
But when we have a belief in meditation practices and sees it as a part of our lives, we can have a more relaxed and positive mind.
With a calm state of mind, you can start seeing some short-terms results within a few weeks. Thus, gradually other long term results like stress management will start reflecting.
Build your mind
Meditation is a thing of the mind. When it loses concentration too constantly or is weak; it will likely affect the result.
That is why it has been greatly emphasized to always keep the mind focused. In as much as our thought might wander off sometimes, what’s more, important is to be skillful in bringing back our thought. Try to build your mind on the main object of focus to relieve stress.
Make it part of you
When something becomes part of you, it tends to live within you thus, making it easier for you to handle or manage.
Stress affects our everyday life. There is no way we can run away from stress, but when we begin to integrate mindfulness meditation through walking and perform it daily, then we can be able to help combat stress.
Try another style
When we practice a particular type of walking meditation, we may lose interest and the fun which will affect the result.
Try out other cool styles as it will help to spice up your practice, this include;
Traditional walking meditation: This kind of meditation comes with a to and fro movement on the same path. It helps to keep the mind focused on the task at hand by getting rid of any unwanted disturbances.
Mindful observation: When you are engaged in this type of walking mindfulness meditation, you tend to scan your body and observe your feelings and experiences. Get focused on many objects at a time as you walk.
Focused breathing walking meditation: As you take a walk, your mind should be focused on your breathing. You can do other breathing techniques that can make the practice fun.
The benefits of walking mindfulness meditation are not limited to stress alone, as it can help
- Improve digestion
- Gives a better stamina
- Reduce blood pressure
- Provides mental clarity
- Relieves anxiety
- make our overall health better
Mindful walking meditation and other various forms of mediation help one achieve a healthier life. Although it has easy techniques, it involves skills that might be difficult at first. However, with constant practices and encounters with different styles, it becomes easier and interesting.
There is no formal or informal way to meditate, what should be our concern is that it helps us to reduce stress, improve our general health, and as well enjoy nature while walking.