Want More Energy, Fitness, Happiness, Mindfulness and Get Everything Done?
Have you ever wondered how to fit everything you want for yourself into your schedule? Meditate, get fit, be healthy, feel happy and have the energy you need? Oh, and, finish all your personal and professional responsibilities. This is our challenge.
A way to tackle this reality is to add a nature walk into your weekly routine—anyplace outdoors will do as long as you can feel safe, enjoy greenery, hear nature sounds (birds, wind, insects, etc), smell scents in the air and experience the elements. You may be thinking, “How can doing something more, give me more time?” I invite you to please try it for the benefits, at least once. Then, you decide.
Why do Nature Walks Work?
Time in nature helps you get out of your head and into your body. Being present with your senses boosts mindfulness, a valuable meditation skill. A short walk, even 5 or 10 minutes, increases circulation and energy and improves health and fitness. Moving more, being outside, cultivating presence, savoring nature’s beauty, appreciating your physical abilities—all these activities amplify happiness. Being happy lifts energy and creates positivity.
7 Tips for a Simple Mindfulness, Fitness, Happiness Exercise
1. Find an easily accessible, safe location. Look for the closest place near your daily routine—in your neighborhood, next to your office, near your commute or where you run errands. This way you can link your walk with an activity that you already do and a familiar destination.
2. Wear comfortable, appropriate clothes. Nothing stops an activity faster than discomfort. Find the right shoes, socks and weather-proof breathable, no-chafe, clothing. If you live in a rainy area (like I do), get rain pants, rubber boots and protective jackets. Use sunscreen, moisturizer, sunglasses, hats, visors, gloves, as needed. Wear fun, functional clothes that express your personal style.
3. Put it in your schedule. Aim for scheduling your nature walk once a week at a minimum, more if possible. Enter the date, time and location in your calendar such as “walk before work”. Invite a friend to walk together, if that makes you feel happier and increases the likelihood that you won’t skip it.
4. Awaken your senses; observe your breath. Take a few minutes before you begin to awaken your senses. Try this Circling Through the Senses Exercise or listen to a nature walk guided meditation—as you begin. Add this guided meditation to your smart phone. As you begin walking, bring your attention from time to time back to your breath with a few conscious inhalations and deep exhalations. Connect with the feeling of the soles of your feet against the earth. If it feels right, repeat the circling through your senses exercise.
5. Notice beauty and what makes you feel good. As you walk, either alone or with a friend, observe what you find beautiful around you—is it a tree’s shape, the sky’s drama, a colorful bird? What strikes your interest? Consciously acknowledge what makes you feel good. Does your body feel limber? Can you feel your energy rising? Does the sun kiss your skin?
6. Express thanks. When the nature part of your walk comes to an end (before you head to your car or path back to office or house) take a moment to look at and silently thank your nature path for giving you this chance to enjoy its beauty. Thank your body for supporting you and express any other feelings of gratitude that arise.
7. Write down one good thing. After your walk is finished, write down one good thing from your experience. Since it’s already in your calendar, noting “one good thing” is easy to add in the “event header” or in “notes”.
To learn more about how to transform your walks into a mindful movement activity, check out the video below.
Visit my YouTube channel for helpful videos on happiness, mindfulness, the mind-body connection and more. While you're there, please subscribe. New videos are added every Thursday.
If you need to remind yourself to make more time for self-care, use the Power of the Pause Workbook for tips on how and why. Download your free copy here.
Join me in comments to share your nature walk experience.
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