Hiking Mindfully

Spring is here and it’s time to get outside. Inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest are beginning to come out of their lairs. Now is a great time to dust off your walking shoes and go for a hike. Here are a few tips for being mindful on a hike too reap even more health benefits.

  • Pause before you start: By the time you get to the trailhead, you may be so eager to get moving that you bring the hustle and bustle of your life on to the hike. Try taking a moment to pause before you start. Set your intentions, take some deep breaths, absorb your surroundings. A short pause at the beginning can act as primer for being more mindful as you walk.
  • Focus on your senses: Feel your feet on the ground. Pay attention to each step. Look around, what do you see? Focus in on a leaf or a rock.  Look up and take in the clouds, tops of the trees, and view. What do you hear? Smell? Touch a tree or pick up some dirt. Focusing on your senses can deepen the experience.
  • Unplug and take a mental snapshot: Most people use their phones as cameras. Of course this is convenient and fun, but taking out your phone brings you back into your device. This poses the risk that you are experiencing your hike through how it will look on social media as opposed to really being in the moment. Try taking less pictures, or even better, try taking a mental snapshot.

I encourage you to try one or more of these the next time you find yourself on a hike. If you ever want to go on a mindful hike together, you are invited!

Reed Canyon Trail, 5 minute walk from GroundPDX

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