Diabetes is related to a considerable measure of psychological suffering. As a result, it is critical to protect the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of people living with diabetes.
Meditation-based interventions have been investigated for their potential to help people with depression, anxiety, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Meditation also helps reduce stress and negative emotions, as well as enhance patient attitude, health-related behaviour, and coping skills.
Meditation while walking
Walking meditation has Buddhist roots and can be incorporated into a mindfulness practice.
The approach may help you feel more grounded, balanced, and tranquil, among other things. It also aids in the development of a new level of awareness of your surroundings, body, and thoughts.
What is the idea of walking meditation?
Walking meditation is usually performed in a circle, back and forth in a straight line, or in a labyrinth. Walking meditation can also be done over a longer distance.
The pace is modest and varies depending on the technique chosen. Between seated meditations, many practitioners perform a walking meditation session.
The following are some examples of walking meditations:
Techniques can vary from breaking down each step into six segments to simply walking in a space mindfully. You can use your breath or a mantra to help you relax.
The various possible benefits of contemplative walking are listed below.
- Increase blood flow
People who sit for extended periods of time typically practise walking meditation. Walking helps to get the blood flowing, especially in the legs. It aids in the relief of sensations of heaviness or stagnation.
If you’re doing seated work for long periods of time, mindful walking is a great technique to improve blood circulation and boost metabolism.
- Boost your digestion
Walking after a mealtime is an excellent approach to improve digestion, especially if you’re feeling heavy or bloated.
Movement aids in the movement of food through the digestive tract and may improve to prevent constipation.
- Decrease anxiety
If you want to reduce your stress levels, consider doing a seated meditation practice before or after your workout.
Walking, when combined with meditation, was found to be more beneficial in lowering anxiety symptoms in young adults in a 2017 study.
The subjects who saw the greatest reductions in anxiety levels meditated, meditated before walking, or walked before meditating. The control group, as well as persons who merely walked, did not make as much progress. Each walking or meditation session lasted ten minutes.
- Improves blood sugar and circulation levels
In a short study published in 2016, researchers found that Buddhist-based walking meditation practice improved blood sugar levels and circulation in persons with type 2 diabetes.
For 12 weeks, participants walked mindfully or traditionally for 30 minutes three times a week. The group who engaged in Buddhist walking practice improved more than the group that engaged in traditional walking.
- Helps with depression
It’s critical to stay active as you become older. Regular exercise improves fitness and mood in older adults, both of which are at risk of deterioration.
According to a small 2014 study, elderly persons who practised Buddhist walking meditations three times a week for 12 weeks had fewer symptoms of depression. Walking also helped them lower their blood pressure and enhance their functional fitness.
- Improves happiness
Take a walk in nature whenever possible, such as a park, garden, or a place with trees, to boost your overall emotions of well-being and help you feel more balanced.
Forest bathing is popular in Japan because of the benefits it provides, such as relaxation and increased brain activity.
People who walked for 15 minutes in a bamboo forest improved their mood, anxiety, and blood pressure, according to a 2018 study.
- Improves the quality of sleep
It is not required to conduct an intense workout to reap the benefits of exercise. Regular moderate exercise has a good influence on sleep quality, according to research published in 2019.
Walking can help you feel better physically by improving flexibility and reducing muscle tension.
You’ll also be more likely to lessen tension and anxiety, especially if you walk first thing in the morning. All of these advantages might help you relax and sleep deeply each night by giving you a quiet, clear mind.
- It encourages creativity.
Mindfulness can help you get more clarity and focus in your thought patterns, which can help you be more creative.
According to research published in 2015, there is a correlation between mindfulness and creativity. More research into specific features of creativity in relation to mindfulness is needed.
In the interim, you might look into how mindfulness practices can help you solve problems or cultivate new ideas.
- It improves equilibrium.
Walking meditation, according to a 2019 study on elderly women, can help with balance, ankle awareness, and coordination.
While walking slowly, the activity entails being conscious of leg and ankle movements.
Make mindful walking a daily habit.
Here are some pointers to get you started with a regular walking meditation routine:
1.Pay attention to the present moment.
It takes time to develop the habit of being present in each moment.
Bring your focus to the present moment as often as possible while walking at any time during the day. Concentrate your focus on the sounds around you, your breathing, or any internal sensations. Pay attention to your thoughts and notice how they come and go.
See how the technique differs when you’re rushing to a location versus spending your time.
2.Also, practise sitting meditation.
Walking meditation is often used alongside seated meditation. As a result, you might want to learn both seated and walking meditation.
Try these seated and walking meditation tips:
Do a 5- to 10-minute meditation session followed by a 5- to 10-minute walking meditation session, or vice versa.
Take note of the differences between the two methods and decide which you prefer and why.
As you gain experience, you can extend your rounds.
3.Give it a break.
When our minds work quickly, we often move quickly as well. Even if you are pressed for time, take a few minutes to slow down your pace for a few minutes.
As you tune in to your breath and body, notice whether you feel any resistance. Slowly and steadily inhale and exhale.
Walk as much as you can in the time you have.
4.Continue to be accountable.
Talk to a teacher, therapist, or friend about your practice and aspirations. Check in on a frequent basis to check whether you’ve gained any new insights and how you’re doing. You can decide how to deepen your practice together.
You can also keep track of your experiences in a diary or journal and use it to reflect on your progress.