“I had looked closely at the dirt beneath my feet and learned it consisted of insect parts, pine needles, stone chips, wildflower seeds. It was made up of pieces of its surroundings just as I was made up of pieces of my surroundings.” – Tina Welling
Walking can be a powerful part of your healing journey. Walking benefits both your physical and mental health, but when you incorporate mindfulness in your walking, it becomes even more powerful. Mindful walking strengthens the mind/body connection, helping both sides of your brain work together, which plays an important role in sexual abuse trauma recovery.
Here are some of our tips for effective mindful walking:
- You may be surprised by the insights you gain while walking mindfully. Some people find it helpful to carry a pen and paper to make notes of what they’ve seen, heard, or discovered on their walks.
- It’s important to be fully present in your body as you walk. Feel your feet in your shoes, concentrate on the way they feel as they hit the ground. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths, and notice how you feel. Say to yourself, “I am going on a mindful walk.”
- You can practice breathing techniques as you walk. Count your breaths in time to your walking, or imagine positive feelings being inhaled and negative feelings being exhaled.
- Notice your surroundings as you walk. Focus on one sense at a time. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel? Pay special attention to small details you might have otherwise missed.
- Come up with some positive declarations to say while you walk. Combining positive declarations and physical movements supports the healing process. Say the words in the same cadence you are walking. Repeat the declaration over and over again as you walk. You may notice you walk taller, breathe deeper, and inhabit your body more fully. Some positive declarations to try are:
- I’m strong
- I’m on my healing journey
- I am loveable
- I’m thankful for…
- Peace comes in, fear goes out
Remember to go at your own pace. If all you can do is walk around the block, that’s where you start. The important part isn’t the distance or the time, but that you get out there and walk, utilizing mindfulness as you go.
Make the decision to only entertain positive thoughts on your mindful walk. If negative, troubling, or stressful thoughts come to mind, calmly recognize them for what they are and shift your focus to something else. Keep bringing your mind back to the focus of your mindful walk and the benefit it has for your healing journey.
Exercise Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. If you are concerned about whether the exercises in this program are right for you, do not do them unless you have cleared it with your physician. The exercises and instructions included above are not a substitute for medical counseling. These exercises can result in injury. If at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately. You are responsible for exercising within your limits and seeking medical advice and attention as appropriate. The Younique Foundation is not responsible for any injuries that result from participating in the exercises above.