Stress reduction might be one of our biggest desires. How fantastic that walking, which is so easily accessible, can dramatically reduce stress and tension in our lives. Let’s walk through a few scientific and innate reasons why we should do regular walking in nature to reduce daily stress.
A long day full of impulses, information, social encounters, and appointments. You´re tired and would like to go to sleep. Though your mind is still spinning around. I would like to invite you to do a walking meditation instead of watching a movie, your favourite series, or submerge yourself in another social encounter.
In walking meditation the primary object of attention is the walking itself. In other words, you pay close attention to the physical act of walking, the way you take one step after another. No goal or destination, it's just to enjoy the act of walking itself.
The focus of the mind on this more obvious object helps to achieve three things:
First, you stay active. After a long day, you might fall asleep with a sitting meditation. Furthermore going to sleep with a head full of thoughts and stress may lead to poor sleep. If your sleep only stays in the first stages of the sleeping pattern your body does not get fully charged. Leading to negative effects on the memory, judgement and mood. Walking meditation gives you the opportunity to relax the mind and body while having an active and vivid experience. This results in a good night sleep.
Second, walking meditation helps to relieve discomfort in a pleasant way. After a workday you might feel some tension, and restlessness. Shifting your awareness through your body releases the tension accumulated in your body. The movement of the body parts while walking makes it pleasant and bearable to focus your attention on the painful areas. While your breath functions as a cool airstream that brings relaxation.
Third, the practice will awaken your curiosity to what is going on right now. The present is always with us, though we are always occupied with over 1000 thoughts every minute. With this simpel meditation practice you bring your thoughts back to two: breathing and walking. A perfect distraction for the mind of the usual train of thoughts. This will sharpen awareness and train the mind to concentrate. Though the best is that you'll be trained to be aware of the small things that surround you. For example enjoy that cup of tea before going to bed, truly listening to your partner during dinner. The act of paying attention to what's going on right now.
It is a real exploration of the body & mind. A simple practice rather than a search for spiritual enlightenment. Therefore everyone can do it, in any type of environment. You'll be surprised by the outcome: a beautiful smile, eyes full of life, ready to enjoy your evening, and sleep like a baby.
I hope to walk with you soon.