In this podcast, Shann's talking about building the simple practice of mindful walking and how it can help you calm anxiety.
Winter means we need to walk more than ever! We need to move, and we need the light and fresh air to keep our spirits up.
*Anxiety will always try and trick us into thinking it's with us for life, or it won't go without some massive intervention.*
Neither need be true. If we can open to the experiment of simple daily steps in developing mindful awareness we will soon feel anxiety start to loosen its grip and take a back seat.
Why mindfulness matters
Mindfulness doesn't come naturally to us. It's something we have to practice and develop.
It's worth the effort because it helps us shed stress and shake ourselves free of anxious thoughts. Developing awareness helps us wake up to our deeper nature, our true potential, and helps us start exploring our life path.
Mindful awareness can help you reclaim your present tense and start creating a calmer future one carefully explored moment at a time.
Paying Attention is a healthy investment
Developing self-awareness stops us sleepwalking through life.
It helps us be kinder to ourselves and start making choices that help us heal.
How to start a simple mindful walking practice
1. Why walking?
It's easy, it's free and it's one of the best things you can do for anxiety and low moods. Moving is real therapy, it gets us beyond beating stuck with feeling bad, and it gets us out of our heads.
2. Where and how?
Anywhere! A street, a park, the beach. Short walks can be anywhere accessible to you, somewhere you can drive to quickly and easily, or just walk out of your door and start consciously putting one foot in front of the other
For longer walks you might choose a Sunday by the sea, or near a river, or in a forest. To allow extra time for immersion in nature.
Walk with awareness of your surroundings. Don't think about it too much, you certainly don't need to worry about whether you are doing it "right" or not. Just get coming and get curious about your ur surroundings. Look out for birds, listen to the sound of your feet connecting with the earth, or the street. Swing your arms, drop your shoulders, relax your jaw and fill your lungs with air.
3. Anxiety release walking practice
If your anxiety is running high, try counting your steps with your breath for a while to engage your mind and draw it away from looping over anxious thoughts.
Try taking one deep breath in as you take four steps, and then exhaling slowly for six steps. And repeat.
Once you feel more settled you can start listening out for the sounds around you, look for patterns and colours. Explore the textures of trees, leaves, stones, anything that catches your eye.
Be curious. Be open and walk at least three times a week, even if it's just for 10 minutes.