Self / 09.03.2015

Life hacks: How to meditate while walking

By Maggie Richards
We quizzed a mindful pro to help you find a little bit of calm on your commute


Statistics show that personal happiness decreases with every mile a commuter travels. Blame it on boredom and lack of control. Add a whirring mind to the mix and no wonder so few of us enthuse about the journey to and from work.

Have you ever sat at your desk and realised you’re not sure how you got there? Your body did the journey, but you weren’t there. The good news is that this ‘wasted’ time spent trundling from the station or bus stop to the office, can be transformed into a productive period of mental rest and even rejuvenation. All you need is a little know how.

Read more: Why mindfulness is worth it

Once you learn how to meditate while walking, you’ll consciously notice the little details and your mind can find a quieter groove. Doing a walking meditation is also a good way of learning to be mindful without making the time for a formal, seated practice.

1. Follow your own footsteps

As you begin walking, deliberately put your mind down into your feet. Become aware of the physical movement of your legs. Notice the sensations of the contact of your feet on the ground. Be interested in the quality of each step. Are your legs tense or relaxed?

Read more: How to burn fat while walking

2. Switch on your senses

Staying connected to the physicality of your legs and feet, expand your awareness to notice your surroundings.

What do you see?
Notice the people passing by; the buildings; the colour of the doorways; look up at check out the sky…be curious!

What do you hear?
Actively listen. Tune into the sounds around you, especially if you like them; birdsong, someone’s cheery whistling, kind words overheard or perhaps even silence. If you don’t notice anything pleasant, play one of your favourite songs in your head and listen to that.

3. Guard your inner peace

We experience the world and ourselves through our senses. By paying friendly attention to the relay of information we’re receiving through them every second, the happier and more connected to our surroundings we become.

Read more: How to get some headspace

Think of your mind as your home. Instead of letting any old stranger barge into your sanctuary and potentially upset the balance, in being mindful you stand at the front door, check out who’s there, and then decide who comes in. With practice, you can become expert at only allowing health and happiness-restoring thoughts.

4. Look for the good

Left to its own devices, your mind can get negative: ‘He’s talking too loud!’,  ‘I don’t like her outfit!,  ‘It’s cold!’ But you have a choice. Get stressed by your stress, or switch tracks and choose to have thoughts that boost your wellbeing.

All you need to do is look for the positives during your walk. The blue sky, fresh air on your face, a child’s laugh, someone’s beautiful smile. It could even be a stylish pair of shoes. Keeping an eye out for beauty is way more relaxing than staying caught in the hamster wheel of negativity.

This simple switch in attitude can have a profound impact on your day. I hope it does yours.

For more mindfulness know-how visit Maggie’s website or follow her on Twitter @withMaggie.

Photography: | Pinterest

Life hacks: How to meditate while walking
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Life hacks: How to meditate while walking
Don't get stressed on the commute, zen out instead with our expert guide on how to meditate while walking.
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