Anxiety and Breathing. Easy meditation on the move.
Physical symptoms of anxiety can include a clenched jaw, a tight chest, aches and pains in your joints. All signs of tension and fear. Practicing this easy walking mediation daily can help reduce your symptoms. You'll also experience how you can take control back of your mind and feelings.
When you meditate, you focus your attention on a simple phrase, word, or object. When your mind wanders, you acknowledge this before you turn your attention back to your mantra. The objective is to learn to concentrate your mind.
It’s simple yet true, you can't be anxious about something when you focus your mind on your breathing.
So, the next time you walk, drop your shoulders. Physically feel the tension leave your neck and shoulders. Relax your jaw and part your lips slightly. When you relax your jaw, you automatically reduce the constant stream of conversation you have with yourself. You can’t talk with your mouth open!
Now just observe your breathing. Check-in and pay attention to its flow, its presence, its aliveness. Are you breathing through your mouth or your nose? Can you feel the breath flowing through your body? Does it feel shallow or deep?
Turn your attention inwards.
Gently begin counting one, two, as you breathe in slowly, and then one, two, as you breathe out softly and slowly. Continue doing this and find your rhythm. You will naturally feel your legs moving along in time to this rhythm. Picture the one and the two as you walk and breathe. Give the one and two a colour, a size. Do you see them as numbers or words?
Check into your shoulders, are they still down? How about your jaw, is it unclenched? Is your forehead creased or are you relaxing the muscles around your eyes and forehead? Relax your hands and arms let them swing. This is your meditation on the move!
If your mind wanders, just come back to your slow and steady one, two, and breathing. Continue focusing on your breath, your steps, your numbers.
If you want, you can add your own personal word onto the end of one, two - maybe “relax” or “peace” or “calm!”. Breathe in one, two, mantra, breathe out one, two, mantra.
Try this for a few minutes in your day and feel the difference. Mediation becomes easier the more you practice. Walking is a great way of relaxing, layering it with this simple meditation makes it even more powerful as a natural calming tool.
Just in case you were wondering: what’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
When you practice mindfulness you don’t concentrate on anything particular, just your thoughts and feelings. You learn awareness and acceptance of what is. When you practice meditation you focus your mind on a particular word or object. When your focus is distracted by your thoughts you simply acknowledge and turn your attention back. Both meditation and mindfulness involve some degree of mental stillness and concentration. Both help you relax and calm.