Gratitude Walking – have you heard of it? As someone who has written many times about the benefits of daily movement such as a brisk walk, I had never heard the term Gratitude Walking until this week.
I’ve recently started an online 8 week Whole Body Makeover with Jannine Murray, a personal trainer from Victoria, BC with 12 years experience as a personal trainer based on a holistic approach and with the emphasis on loving and accepting who you are now. I will be writing about my learnings over the next few months but today I wanted to discuss ‘Gratitude Walking’.
Walking seems to be a theme for me this week, as after I watched the video about Gratitude Walking I also read about Walking to help our creativity in the book ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron.
Learning about these two approaches to walking, confirmed for me that I am on the right track (no pun intended), when I write that walking (or any movement) not only helps us physically but it is vital for good mental health and well-being.
What is Gratitude Walking?
It is what it says – walking with gratitude. This means taking at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour, each day to get out into nature and reflect on all that you are grateful for as you walk.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
I know that some people find journaling their gratitude or thinking about what they are grateful for each morning when they wake, is the best way for them to make gratitude a priority in their lives.
I’ve tried journaling but just can’t get into it. Yet, Gratitude Walking is perfect for me as I enjoy being active and getting out into the fresh air.
The concept is that as you ‘breathe in’ you are taking in the essence of gratitude – what you are grateful for at that moment. When you ‘exhale’ you are expelling anything that doesn’t align with your thoughts about gratitude.
Most people don’t take the time to breathe deeply if they are stressed. Their breath is short and shallow. By concentrating on breathing deeply with a focus on gratitude, your stresses start to ease away
As you walk, start with concentrating your feeling grateful for your body and your life and feel how your body responds to each step.
Benefits of Gratitude Walking
- Walking in nature drops the stress hormone, Cortisol within just 20 minutes.
- You can find peace, clarity, space, inspiration and happiness during your Gratitude Walk
- Improves your state of being by helping you become more present, finding your intention for the day, enjoying nature and the benefits of spaciousness and uplifts your spirit.
Walking for creativity
”One of the most valuable creativity tools is also the simplest. I am talking about walking. I have learned that walking quells anxiety and allows creativity to bubble to the surface” – Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way for Retirement.
The second time this week I read about the benefits of walking was when I started reading The Artist’s Way for Retirement by Julia Cameron. I have heard of this author and her teachings when reading blogs from Pam from Retirement Transition, Karen at Profound Journey and Molly Totoro. After getting the ‘message’ from these three inspiring bloggers, I thought I would check out what Julia had to say and purchased the book through Amazon.
Julia teaches that we can become creative as we walk because we begin to notice what is around us and make new connections on our daily walk. Walking enables us to think, meditate and often is the easiest way to solve the problems of daily living. As she writes:
‘We may walk out with a problem, but the odds are excellent that we will walk back in with a solution.’
How to walk for creativity or problem solving
Julia suggests walking at least twice a week for 20 minutes ALONE. That means no partner, pet, friend or mobile phone – just YOU.
During this 20 minute walk you will have the opportunity to open a space in your mind for ideas or to bring clarity to an issue you might be experiencing and need to solve. Being on your own allows you to listen to yourself and your thoughts.
Time to lace up and start walking for gratitude and creativity!
Do you walk daily? Do you make time to focus on gratitude? Why not combine the two and be healthy and happy in mind, body and soul?