Raise your hand in you live in your head, if you constantly worry rather than feel, or if you can’t remember what color the leaves of the trees outside of your house are. You’re not alone. In fact, 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder. It sounds daunting, but believe us, it’s not, especially if you break down anxiety to its innermost core. Anxiety stems from worry. Worry stems from thinking and wondering about things that have passed, how those things might affect your future, or how the future might turn out. This may surprise you, but worry actually does not exist in this moment. In this moment, there is nothing but what is around you. This moment is what mindfulness focuses on.
Mindfulness is the practice of being mindful of what truly exists, instead of what might might come or has already passed. When we take ourselves out of a worry state and place ourselves into the happy, clear, present moment, our bodies re-calibrate as they remember what it feels like to feel good. The more we practice mindfulness, the more often our bodies will crave the feeling of stress-free living, and our bodies will begin to think and act more positively on their own.
Being mindful is very easy, and it can be as easy as taking a quick walk around your backyard, down your street, through your parking lot, down your favorite walking trail, or around your apartment complex. All you have to do is focus on the sensations of your five senses.
Walking Mindfulness Meditation (3-30 minutes)
- Wear something comfortable for the weather outside and something that makes you feel cozy and in love with yourself.
- Do not bring music. Put your phone on silent and tuck it away.
- Step outside.
- What do you see? How do your eyes adjust?
- What do you immediately hear? Do you hear birds tweeting? Car engines humming?
- How does the air smell? Do you smell sweet flowers? Is there freshly cut grass? Damp rain?
- Is the temperature warm? Can you feel the sun on your skin? Do you feel the wind in your arm hair?
- Begin walking. How does the ground feel under your feet? Can you feel rocks and twigs through the soles of your shoes? Is the ground flat and easy to walk upon?
- Walk slowly with no particular purpose.
- Think only about what your senses are feeling.
- Cycle through your eyes, ears, nose, and feeling, one at a time if you need to.
- If your mind begins to wander, just being thinking about what you’re looking directly at and begin cycling through your senses.
Want more mindfulness practices? Check out 5 Mindfulness Exercises for Stress Management!
Copyright 2015 Jennifer “Aurora Moone” McDonald / All rights reseved.