Jumpstart Mindful Walking

How to Take a Mindful Devotional Walk

Mindfulness means being more fully aware of our experiences in the present moment. Often when we walk, whether to get from one place to another or for the purpose of exercise, we separate movement from our thoughts. Our bodies do one thing while our minds race in another direction altogether. When that happens, walking takes us away from the present moment.

Mindful walking is an opportunity to be fully present in what our body is doing. We can be mindful of our breath, of how our bodies feel, of how our bodies respond to the environment, of how our thoughts take form and to bring them back to the bodily experience rather than watching them race off.

We can mindfully choose how to bring our thoughts toward supporting health in body and spirit as we walk with a meditative focus. A brief devotional time before a walk can provide the focus to center our minds as we walk and open up space where God’s healing presence may become clear.

Use these tips for mindful devotional walking.

Church Health offers three Walking With devotionals, but most devotionals can be easily adapted for mindful walking, so choose the one you feel comfortable with.

1. Begin with a brief devotional time using your chosen devotional or text. As you read the day’s reflection, settle on a word or phrase from the Scripture verse or the reflectional passage. Make this your focal point as you walk.
2. Pray and invite God’s presence into your mindful walk, asking God to clear your mind and spirit and open up space for divine communion. You might want to jot down your day’s focal point to carry with you as you walk.
3. While you walk, practice mindfulness. Allow your senses to help you be fully present in the moment and not carried off by the cares of the day. Feel and notice the small experiences around you so that they might be gateways to a larger awareness of God’s healing presence.
4. If you find your mind wandering to your to-do list or your worry list, bring your mind back to the focal point you chose from the daily devotional time. If you wrote it down, this is a good time to look at it again and remember why you chose it.
5. At the end of your walk, reflect on what you noticed as you walked that calmed you, brought you joy, connected you to God, or provided a positive perspective on circumstances that might have been weighing you down. Consider keeping a journal where you write down one sentence each day of your awareness of God from your walk.
6. Give thanks to God for the healing moments of your mindful devotional walk in a brief prayer or song before moving on to the responsibilities that await you.

Download these tips for mindful devotional walking here

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