Melt Stress and Spark Creativity… with Mindful Walking?
The stress and tension that pervades today’s world is not only detrimental to physical and mental health, it blocks the creativity needed to function optimally in your work. This stress can be defused within minutes through a simple but powerful strategy called mindful walking.
Using this walking tool, the anxious feelings that plague so many can be channeled into physical activity, promoting bodily relaxation. Also, the mind can be calmed through focusing thoughts on the present moment, paying deliberate attention to breathing, as well as sensory input from the walking environment. Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, author of The Mind-Body Mood Solution: The Breakthrough Drug-Free Program for Lasting Relief from Depression, advocates mindful walking, pointing out this technique can be done in as little time as it takes to walk to the water cooler. He notes the versatility and availability advantages of it, as you do not even need to go to the gym to experience its restorative benefits.
In mindful walking, the objective is to focus your thoughts gently on the present, which causes worries and stresses of the past and future to fade from your consciousness. Focusing on the experiences of the moment, such as the warmth of the sun and the smile of a child, as well as a soft breeze in your hair and the feeling of the ground underfoot, provides a reprieve from stress.
This system of walking clears your mind, removing hindrances to your creativity and productivity in your job. The dissipation of tension and stress, factors that hinder creative thought, enables you to return to your work with fresh ideas.
When you feel the build up of tension, try some of these exercises proposed by Rossman. Fitness expert Shirley Archer says such tools can lower heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing the mood and creating feelings of well being.
- Focus your attention on your breathing as you walk.
- Let yourself notice sights and sounds in your walking environment, along with physical sensations you feel as you walk. After giving momentary attention to each sound or sensation, return your focus to your breathing.
- If recurring thoughts distract you from your awareness of the present, shift your focus to your breathing.
- While centering your thoughts on your breathing, remember plants give off oxygen that you breathe in and plants take in carbon dioxide that you exhale.
- Imagine carbon dioxide flowing from your nose and mouth into the plants around you.
- Envision oxygen from the nearby plants entering into your lungs.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.