Yesterday evening a group of us set off on a walk to a local village with the end point being one of our favourite pubs.
It was just what I needed. I had a very concentrated afternoon at work. I had been so focused on what I was doing for a couple of hours before I finished that I felt mentally exhausted.
Before we set off I could have simply flopped on the sofa and fallen asleep. Because we had organised the walk a few days ago I wasn’t going to drop out and once the fresh air hit me and I felt the sun on my face I felt really revitalised.
Walking is a great way to be mindful…
1) It improves your relationships. If you are in company then really listening to your companions is great. Sometimes when we are walking alongside each other it is easier to talk about things that may feel difficult face to face. It can be a great chance to open up to each other. Your friends will appreciate your listening ear and when you listen to others your own worries slip away.
2) You can train your brain whilst you go. When things are quiet really focus on the rhythm of your feet. This can help you to train your brain to focus as you want it to. Each time your mind wanders then simply return your attention to the rhythm of your feet again. If you get into a habit of doing this you will be able to chose what you pay attention to.
3) Feel alive and grounded in the moment. Noticing the weather and the smells and sights is a great way to be present. Rather than worrying about what time you will get home, or thinking about the day you have just had at work, you can enjoy the experience to the full.
4) Getting a period of exercise in your day makes you feel great. When you exercise endorphins are released and will leave you with a post workout glow. Fitting in a regular walk will help you to be a healthy weight and it is great for your fitness. If you spend your days sitting at a desk this really is a good move at the end of your day.
So get out walking whenever you can and enjoy the benefits that it brings. A calm mind, clarity, a bit of exercise and maybe even a treat at the end. A drink in a pub at the end of the walk always keeps me going!