In the ideal world, your day includes time for exercise, time for a stress reduction practice, time for work, cooking and eating nourishing meals, spending quality time with family and friends, and time to take care of everyday chores like dishes and laundry.
If only the day were, say, 36 hours long! On days when you can’t squeeze everything in, or even when you can, try a healthy kind of multitasking.
“Mindful movement” — simply paying attention to your body and environment as you walk, climb stairs, or do any other daily movement — may improve your mood and well-being, according to new research.
If you’re like most people, you may have a running commentary in your mind while you’re going about your day — perhaps running through your to-do list or rehashing a conversation you had with a family member.
But this mental sideshow can increase stress and anxiety.
You can bring yourself into the present (the essence of mindfulness) by tuning in to what your body is doing and how it’s feeling as you move throughout your day, whether you’re walking out to your car, reaching for something on a shelf, or doing formal exercise.
If you’re walking or jogging outside, try tuning in to sounds: your shoes slapping the pavement or ground, the rhythmic inhales and exhales of your breath, the sounds of birdsong, insects buzzing, trees whispering in the wind, or cars passing.
With practice, this type of multitasking can do wonders for your mind!
Source: Momentary negative affect is lower during mindful movement than while sitting: An experience sampling study