Do you go for a daily walk? Why not use this as an opportunity to create a routine that restores your mind and invigorates your soul! With a PhD in the field of ecopsychology, Peter White from NatureConnect shares his insights into how you can turn a simple walk into a mindful experience in which you contemplate, reflect and connect with nature.
- Choose a setting where you’re unlikely to be interrupted by noisy people or surroundings.
It’s not just about selecting a peaceful walking route, it’s cultivating the right mindscape that will make the difference.
- Before you start, sit down and create your breathing space to help you get into the moment. For example, try a seven-second rhythm where you inhale slowly for five seconds, hold for two, then slowly exhale at the same pace.
- As you start your walk, focus on finding your own breathing and walking rhythm. Start slowly, focusing on taking a step at the time until you achieve your own pace.
- Notice your surroundings using all your senses without focusing on any one object. Simply notice what’s around you while you focus on your breathing and sensations.
- If your thoughts start to wander (they will!), simply observe that it’s happening and bring your attention back to your breathing and walking rhythm.
- Be patient! Mindfulness is like using a new muscle – it needs a lot of practice to extend and remain focused.
Top tip! Dedicate yourself to at least several outdoor walks each week for enhanced psychological wellbeing.