Walk your way to inner peace
-May 3, Hannah Hargrave, Mind -
What’s not to love about walking? It’s free, it keeps you fit and it can be amazing for your inner peace.
A walk can be so much more than reaching your 10,000 steps. While we love walking as a form of exercise it’s also beneficial to unwind, de-stress and bring out your inner zen.
But don’t bolt for the door and march head down around the block and expect calming results, there is an art to peaceful walking.
Observe your surroundings
Rushing about our daily lives we miss so much. Take the time on your walk to listen to the birds, watch the trees sway, look at a sunset and breathe in the air. The little things you’d probably power past become so much more significant when we make time to appreciate them.
Making a conscious effort to be grateful for your surroundings can also help the mind from wondering to a negative place.
Walk somewhere quiet
We know not everyone has the luxury of a beautiful woodland or picturesque park on their doorstep, especially if you live in the city. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find somewhere to wander where it’s less crazy than a busy main road.
You don’t want to be forced to walk at the pace of the people around you and there’s nothing relaxing about rush hour.
So do your research and you’ll likely discover places you never even knew existed.
Put your phone away
If you want a truly peaceful walk then we’re afraid it’s time to put your phone away. Electronic devices are a distraction you don’t need and even just checking your emails can raise your stress levels. It’s obviously ok to take your phone with you for emergencies but put it on silence so you’re not constantly itching at the ping of a text message.
Take a picnic
Being outdoors boosts your mood, lowers stress levels and your blood pressure too. Pack a picnic and have a feel good lunch. All too often we wolf down our food at our desks or on the run but al fresco dining is much better for us both physically and mentally. Throw down a blanket or perch on a park bench and tuck into your packed lunch for a natural mood booster.
How you walk can change the way you feel. Try to stand up tall, with your head held high and your shoulders back and it’s likely your mood will instantly improve. Good posture can make you feel empowered and boost your self esteem. Plus those nice deep breaths you’ll be wanting to take are so much more effective when you’re not stooped over.
Stand still. Just for a minute or two. Stop and do absolutely nothing and let a sense of inner calm wash over you. Doing nothing, even just for a few minutes makes a remarkable impact on your mind, body and soul and what better place to do it than in the fresh air!