While you likely know that your body needs exercise to stay healthy, did you know that your brain needs movement to operate at its peak capacity?
If you do one thing differently this year, make 2018 the year you add walking to your daily routine – your mind is depending on you!
When you feel stressed or need to get something done, do you push yourself to sit still and power through? Do you ever have a tough time coming up with solutions or hit a mental block after sitting at your desk for hours? If yes, time for a new strategy and habit. Creatively-challenged, stressed-out minds, are craving a walk in the fresh air with a change of scenery to ignite the brain’s capability. Research shows that even a short 10 to 15-minute walk can shift your perspective, increase clarity and boost your ability to be more innovative.
With over 70 miles of beaches and amazing hikes in San Diego County, isn’t it time you get outside and take your thoughts for a walk? Want to spice up your regular walk, or wondering how to get the most out of a 15-minute stroll? Try one of these five Positive Psychology inspired walks borrowed from my Mindful Stepping™ card deck (www.takeyourthoughtsforawalk.com).
- Observe your environment, the people and things that you pass along the way.
- What do you notice that gives you a sense of gratitude and/or makes you smile?
- Take a moment to saturate yourself in each thing you witness with grateful eyes.
- Take a walk with a significant other, friend or family member.
- While walking in one direction, let your partner know the qualities you most admire in him/her.
- At the mid-way point of your walk, switch roles and savor your partner’s positive comments about you.
- How can you use these identified qualities to enhance your relationship?
- Reflect on a time when you felt at the top of your game.
- What were you doing? What skills were you using? Who was on your “team”?
- How did you feel physically and emotionally?
- What clues can you take from this time in your life to create more top-of-game experiences?
- Pick one thing on your walk to focus on: the trees, sky, clouds, people, etc.
- Notice the colors, textures, sounds, shapes — all aspects of your object of attention.
- Allow yourself to get lost in the experience of being totally aware and focused on just one thing.
- Notice how your mind feels as you complete your walk.
- The world needs you! What tiny or large imprints have you made on the world so far?
- Look around as you walk. Does anything trigger a desire in you for future imprints? Do you notice people whom you would like to serve? Environmental issues you would like to improve? Animals you would like to protect?
What one personal commitment do you want to make to continue serving the people or issues that are important to you?