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Mindfulness and walking: an exercise for mind and body



Over the course of various articles on our portal, we have repeatedly discussed the topic of approaching life.

As many of you may have learned from reading previous articles, this is a series of practices (some of which we have already analyzed such as Meditation and Body Scan) that aim to increase our awareness of what we are doing. These are exercises that improve concentration on the activities we do on a daily basis, which we now almost always ignore and do too sufficently (eating, walking, resting) letting ourselves be disturbed and distracted by external worries and thoughts that do not allow us to fully comprehend what we are experiencing at that moment. And that is precisely the ultimate goal of the Mindfulness methodology: to make us aware of our present! Ignoring the distractions, bad thoughts, judgments and worries that make our minds wander beyond the present time. One of the exercises that , besides providing physical well-being, can also prove to be a boon for the mind is mindful walking.

Mindful walking

A simple walk, however good it may be for our bodies, is very often accompanied (especially if we are alone) by negative thoughts, worries and restless moods that almost always refer back to problems in our daily lives. Such an attitude goes on to inhibit many positive feelings that could arise from a walk taken with a mind free of worries, fully in tune with the Mindfulness approach. The mindful walking exercise teaches us precisely how to avoid these unpleasant situations and walk with greater awareness.

It will be helpful to take the opportunity from time to time while you are walking to simply slow your pace slightly and remind yourself, “I am here, complete right now.” Pay attention to the way your body moves as you walk, pay attention to every single movement of your feet, legs, torso, right down to the movements of your head. Very important also is to have an open view around you, focusing on where you are and your surroundings.

This exercise should be coupled with awareness of your breath, which is very important during the walk. Try to exercise as often as you can during your day: on your way to work, on your way up the stairs, or when you are waiting to meet someone. This is a practice that, if done with some consistency, will not only make your walks much healthier and more relaxing but will greatly increase your awareness of yourself, your body and your surroundings.


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