For those of you who can’t sit still for long, there’s plenty of other ways to be mindful that don’t fit the traditional meditation mould.
Life Coach, Speaker and Trainer Rebecca Hannan walks us through her favourite mindful activity and how it helps her to destress, reduce anxiety and slow things down.
In a world of excessive consumerism and smartphone addictions, it’s no wonder that struggles with mental health are more prominent than ever before.
Surveying more than 10,000 women, the 2017 Jean Hailes Women’s Health survey found that 40% of ladies have been professionally diagnosed with depression or anxiety.
Many of these women are also struggling to find the time and the energy to complete the 2.5 hours of weekly physical activity recommended by health professionals.
In an attempt to lighten the load, we’re chatting to women around the country on the wellness practices they manage to squeeze into their day, and finding out how you can too.
This week, we’re catching up with Life Coach, Trainer and Professional Speaker Rebecca Hannan, who takes mindful walks to reduce stress and alleviate anxiety.
Boasting a heap of mental and physical health benefits, mindful walking is the perfect alternative for those of you who shy away from traditional meditation.
Best of all? It can be practiced from literally anywhere. Walk on, ladies.
What is mindful walking?
Mindful walking is one of my favourite workouts. It involves going for a walk and actively taking notice of your surroundings, and how your body is interacting with that environment.
I head out to a park or find some nearby forest trails, put on my sneakers and start to connect to my breathing. When I’m walking I give myself permission to allow this time just for me. I park all of my to-do lists, and I become really present. I feel the ground underneath me, the wind on my face, and notice the colours, foliage, sights and smells around me without judgment or labelling – just mindfully noticing.
What do you love about this practice?
I love simplicity. In our busy, cluttered, complex lives it’s wonderful to take a step back from this and connect with nature. I always feel invigorated and refreshed after. I find that my best ideas come to me when I walk in nature.
How does mindful walking improve your health and wellbeing?
There is strong scientific evidence to support that nature heals, reduces stress and increases feel-good hormones dopamine. I always come back from my walks feeling invigorated, refreshed and more focused.
Where, and how often do you walk?
At least three times per week. For those days when I am unable to or if I’ve done other exercise, I make sure I spend at least 5-10 minutes just sitting quietly outside focusing on my breathing.
I’m very fortunate I live in an area that is surrounded by nature, so it is usually in the forest. When I’m travelling in different cities for work, I head straight to a park.
What are your workout wardrobe essentials?
I love Lorna Jane activewear mostly for its versatility – I can dress it up and mix and match it. My favourite go-to pieces are bright tights and a strappy tank for yoga sessions, comfy tracksuits pants and a casual top for walking in, and plain tights and tank for running in – yes I have different outfits for my different activities!
To find out more about Rebecca Hannan, head to her website.