Walking meditation, or “meditation in motion,” is a more active variation of a typical meditation practice that can also benefit your health in new ways.
If you’re struggling to meditate and hoping to decrease stress at work, here’s everything you need to know about walking meditation and how it can help you.
4 Benefits of Walking Meditation
Walking meditation is an excellent habit to invest in because you get a high ROI on the time you spend practicing it; in fact, meditation in motion allows you to multitask on caring for your health by providing you with both physical and mental benefits.
Here are four notable benefits you’ll likely experience as a result of a walking meditation practice:
Getting more steps in
The average American gets about 3,000–4,000 steps per day, which is a number well below the common goal of 10,000 steps. Walking meditation is an effective way to boost your step count, especially if you have a busy schedule.
One study showed that even a single bout of walking and meditation decreased stress levels and increased positive mood in young adults.
You can conduct a walking meditation during your breaks at work to reduce the workplace stress you experience throughout the day. Use your lunch hour to get some fresh air with a walk outdoors.
More energy and better blood flow
If you tend to feel sluggish throughout the day, walking meditation may help you get some of your energy back. Spending time in nature and soaking up sunlight are other surefire ways to boost your energy. Get the most out of your practice by doing your walking meditation out in nature.
Burnout is a killer of creativity. Physical activity has been linked to increasing creativity, which is why doing a walking meditation may inspire you and help you infuse more passion into your work.
6 Tips for Practicing Walking Meditation
Like any type of meditation, walking meditation is called a “practice” because there isn’t ever a point where you’ve “made it” in terms of performance. Instead, many people develop a walking meditation practice to experience health benefits over time. There isn’t a wrong way to do it, but by following some key tips, you can enhance the benefits you may experience.
Here are six tips you can use to get the most out of your practice:
1. Find a place with few distractions
Some people prefer to meditate in the seclusion of an indoor track, while others prefer to do so on a serene trail in the forest. Either way, choose a quiet place for your walk where you can concentrate on your meditation.
2. Set an intention
As in many kinds of meditation, setting an intention can help you stay grounded during your walks. For example, many people return to the intention of “observation and mindfulness” during their meditation practice.
3. Be mindful
Your walking meditation is not a time for you to process work problems or tackle your to-do list, even though your brain will naturally return to the current problems you’re trying to solve. Let these thoughts drift away with ease as you return your attention to your walk.
4. Be intentional with your speed
It isn’t a race. Take notice of how fast you’re walking. If you find yourself power walking on your meditation, try to slow it down. A good rule of thumb is to walk at a speed a little slower or faster than your natural gait to keep your mind focused on the task at hand.
5. Tune into your senses
Focus on what you can see, hear, smell, and touch. These sensory experiences help you anchor your consciousness and help your mind focus on the present moment.
6. Focus on the breath
Be aware of each breath you take. The breath can anchor you in the present. You can find guided meditations on podcasts, videos, or apps that will help you focus on your breath.
The Bottom Line
Walking meditation can be an excellent way for busy professionals to take care of their physical and mental health while combatting burnout and stress from work.
As with any new habit, it may take a bit of practice before you’re able to easily meditate while walking. You may have to experiment with meditation in different environments or with guided meditations in order to benefit most from the practice.
Becoming a better professional in your job is all about adopting tiny habits to improve your mental and physical well-being. For additional support, learn how working with an Arootah coach can help you learn to become more mindful of your actions and improve your productivity and energy at work.