Mindfulness is about being aware. When you’re being ‘mindful’, you take notice of what you’re doing and what’s going on around you.
It can sometimes be hard to stay in the present moment. Our minds can easily wander from what we’re doing to other thoughts and concerns.
Mindfulness can help bring our attention back from worrying or thinking too much to being fully engaged in the here and now. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety and help relax the mind and body.
While walking outside try:
- Noticing how your feet feel on the ground. Do your steps make a noise?
- Being aware of the weather. Can you feel warm sunshine or a cool breeze?
- Appreciating the world around you by noticing trees, flowers or the most colourful thing you see on your walk.
- Listening more deeply – which noises stand out to you? Can you hear bees or birds?
- Are there children playing or a dog barking?
- Smelling the world around you, such as freshly mown grass or blooming flowers.
- Maybe you’re aware of traffic fumes or dusty pavements – some smells stand out more than others!
- Noticing how you feel when you’re walking. Does it boost your mood? How does your body feel?
It’s okay if your mind wanders – we all do this! If you start to be distracted by your thoughts while having a mindful walk, just notice it’s happening and bring your attention back to your senses: what can you see, hear, smell or feel as you walk?
While walking outside, it’s important to stay safe by being aware of traffic, your personal safety and social distancing guidance.