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Particularly at New Year, we find ourselves thinking about making changes to our lives. We’ve all made those resolutions and we’ve all frequently failed to achieve them. Most have dropped away by the end of the January, if not before.
Often the most successful resolutions or changes that we make in our lives are the simple ones. Simple, small modifications to our behaviour, that becomes easily repeatable and habitual, and therefore sustainable.
If you are affected by anxiety, you may be interested in a small modification that you can make to your lifestyle, which requires little or no extra time from your day. It is something that will you will find that you can repeat time and time again once you get into the groove of it.
We are talking Walking Meditation
Researchers have found that 10 minutes meditation either before or after a 10-minute walk could significantly reduce levels of anxiety in university students. Walking alone, whilst still beneficial to overall wellness did not have a significant impact on anxiety levels.
The results suggest that combining mediation with aerobic exercise can help reduce anxiety levels more than just from exercising on its own.
Walking Mindfulness is another method that you might find beneficial. It involves using mindful techniques whilst actually walking. The benefit of this is that you can normally fit it into your normal daily routine, for instance on your walk to the office, to the bus stop or even to the train.
Walking Meditation Instructions (5-10 minutes)
1. Bring your hands to a relaxed position, however feels best for you. Take a few relaxed breaths before you begin, and notice the sensation of both feet on the ground.
2. Breathe in a relaxed and natural manner.
3. Start to walk at a slower, unhurried pace.
4. Notice the sensation of your feet:
– How does it feel when your back foot lifts?
– How does it feel when your heel touches the ground, and your weight shifts forward?
– How does it feel when your weight shifts forward and passes to the next foot?
5. Continue to pay attention to the sensation of each step, and feel the weight in both of your feet transfer or shift as you continue to walk.
6. Notice how the rest of your body feels as it moves: your back, legs, arms, shoulders, chest, and neck.
It’s normal to be distracted during your walking meditation, but just gently bring your mind back to the sensation in your feet. Beginners can start with five to ten minutes, but you have the option to do it for longer as well.
If you need help managing anxiety or learning techniques to help you cope, be empowered and to fulfil your goals, Aspire Counselling is able to help you. Book an appointment today at:
You can read the original Psychology Today article by Marlynn Wei at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/urban-survival/201712/new-study-finds-meditation-walking-reduces-anxiety