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Need to De-stress? Try Mindful Walking!

Looking for a quick stress-reduction tool? Mindful walking is incredibly effective and efficient—perhaps the most accessible mindfulness practice. Whether you have 5 or 25 or 50 minutes, taking a short stroll and noticing with allllll of your senses has this way of disengaging our stress loop and mental chatter and rooting us so beautifully in the present moment and everyday magic.

It works on many levels, helping us reset through movement, changing scenery, moving attention back into the body, and reconnecting with our senses (a well-documented anti-anxiety tool!).

So if you find yourself stuck on a project, overwhelmed or just needing a little brain break, I highly, HIGHLY recommend this practice!

My favorite way to mindfully walk:

🌲 Walk outside and take a few deep breaths to arrive in your body. Close your eyes if you like as you check in with yourself. Where are your thoughts? Emotions? How’s your body feel? Your breath?

🌲 Really sense the ground under your feet and the information coming through them as you open your eyes and begin to walk slowly, mindfully.

🌲 Don’t think about the destination if possible—meander and be led by what your senses direct you to.

🌲 Breathe in what’s around you through alllll your senses: What do you see? Where does it invite your eyes next? What can you hear? Notice allll the layers of sound, near and far. What smells do you detect? How do the different surfaces feel underfoot? Is there sun, breeze on your skin? Is there anything interesting to touch, like a ginkgo leaf or tree bark or pine needles that are almost always so much softer than they appear?

🌲 Experience these things with a “beginner’s mind,” as if you’ve never seen, heard, smelled, felt them before… Observe how much wonder this cultivates—how the world comes alive around you.

(🌲 Be aware of where you’re walking and any obstacles, things you shouldn’t touch, busy roads, etc.—looking out for your safety is part of the mindfulness too!)

For a guided practice, check out my Guided Mindful Walk on Insight Timer.


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