Mindfulness Exercise: Silent Walking
Here’s a simple informal practice of mindfulness you can incorporate into your daily life. The aim is to engage awareness of everything the senses can take in from moment to moment. The purpose is to cultivate present moment awareness in a non-judgmental way. The labeling and word repetition is to support the process of de-centering or defusing from the content that our mind gives us. You become the observer of experience and look AT your thoughts instead of FROM your thoughts.
- Take ten minutes or longer and walk silently. You can do this indoors or outdoors.
- Remain silent throughout the entire walk so you can “listen” to the content of your mind is producing.
- As your attention is drawn to particular things you become aware of objects in your environment or thoughts, inner dialogue, feelings, sounds, sensations in your body, call them out by saying them three times. For example, when a car passes by, say to yourself, “car, car, car.” If you start to feel stress in your body you say “stress” three times. Notice what happens when you do this.
- Continue to label and repeat as you notice.