mindful walking

Remember that there is no success or failure with mindful walking.  You are not aiming for any special state, and your focus is not on trying to “get it right”. 

Instead, your job is to simply pay attention to what is happening right now, while you are walking. 

You may have noticed that your mind wandered off to thoughts about “am I doing it right” or “this is stupid, how can this be helping me?”  This is OK.  When this happens next time, simply recognise that those thoughts are there, without trying to stop them from coming.  Once you have recognised this, gently bring the focus of your attention back to walking, and what is happening right now.

You may have found that your mind wandered off to certain negative thoughts during this exercise, or that worries popped into your head while you are practicing. 

This is OK, this is normal. 

What is happening is that your mind is slipping into and out of automatic pilot.  It doesn’t mean that the exercise didn’t work, just that it takes a bit of practice to step out of automatic pilot.  These negative thoughts and worries have a habit of trying to feed back into your cycle and keep you feeling bad and feeling “stuck”.

When this happens next time during your mindful walking, simply recognise that those thoughts are there, without trying to stop them from coming.  Once you have recognised this, gently bring the focus of your attention back to walking, and what is happening right now.  Practice stepping out of this automatic cycle by paying more attention to what is happening right now.

Over the next week, please practice your mindful walking exercises once every day for about 10 minutes.  Of course you can practice more often if you like, but once a day for 10 minutes is enough to start feeling the benefits, and to start a new habit of stepping out of automatic pilot.

Please print out the “Mindful Walking” handout to remind you about the exercise.
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