Changing your mind: The Mindful Walk.

1 Nov 2014

This is the second of my mindfulness exercises that I thought I would share with you.

This is one you can do anytime you have a few minutes to spare. You can do it whilst walking from the car/bus to work, getting some air at lunchtime or just getting out the house for a walk during the day. You try to engage as many senses as you can in the environment that you in.

Start by just feeling the air. Is there a wind? Is it hot or cold? Is the sun shining? Can you feel the warmth on your skin?

Listen. What can you hear? Can you hear birds, traffic, people. Think about what you can hear. If you can hear birds what do you think they are doing? Where is the traffic going, imagine the people in the cars, taxis, lorries and busses and pavements, make up stories about what they may be doing.

See. Look around you. Look at the big picture and then look at the small. I have found some amazing caterpillars by stopping and looking closely at the bushes. Look up. If you are in a city there is some wonderful architecture to see, look for detailed carvings imagine the people who were involved in their creation. The designer, the sculptor. Try to work out how the architecture was made. Were the bricks moulded or is it carved stone? Where did the materials come from? If you are in a park try to find out why the park exists, think about the trees, how old are they, why they were planted in that place?

Touch. Feel the things around you. Touch the trees, touch the buildings (be careful with this one people may think you are slightly mad) are the surfaces rough or smooth, cold or warm are there patterns you can feel?

What can you smell? Focus on the scent around you. Can you smell flowers, cut grass, hot dog stand, peoples cologne. As people pass you try to catch their smell (not always pleasant but certainly educational) try to imagine why they smell like that. Are they going to an important meeting, seeing their loved one or just on their way back from a bad night out!

I try to do this one every time I go out with my dog and I find that I am generally calmer and more relaxed when I get back. Hope it helps.


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