While college provides its fair share of challenges, there are many ways that you put your mind at ease and improve your focus and general mental health. In addition to speaking to a counselor or calling a loved one, you also improve your wellness by taking a walk.
It’s true. While regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy body and strong bones, mindful practices can also help you strengthen your mind and fight the stress that college life can bring. Let’s talk more about what you can add to your health regimen.
Mental Benefits of Exercise
While many try to exercise to stay slim and build muscle, we often fail to recognize the mental health benefits of fitness. For starters, when we can get away from the books and take a walk outside, we can let the stress of college life melt away and just focus on ourselves.
Mindfulness can also help your memory. When we engage in physical exercise, our body releases endorphins that enable us to feel better. These endorphins are also great for mental sharpness, and that improved focus can help with your studies as well.
Exercise also helps to improve our mood. When we are active and feel better physically, it helps to improve our self-esteem. Walking is just as helpful as lifting weights in this regard. When we feel like we are making a difference in our lives, we feel better, and you can carry that over into your classes.
What Is Mindful Walking?
Mindful walking is when you stroll through the park or the neighborhood and let the struggles of your life slip away and instead just focus on yourself and the present moment. Focus on your breathing as you inhale and exhale, on each step you take, and take in the beauty of the world around you.
When your goal is a mindful walk, you should do your best to avoid distractions. Keep the cell phone off and take a route where you won’t come in contact with a lot of friends who may want to converse with you. This is a time for you and your thoughts.
Consider taking a hike where you can soak in the glory of the nature around you with all of your senses. Listen carefully to the sounds, smell the fresh air, and really open your eyes to the beauty in the area. Once you return home, you’ll feel much better.
Mindful Walking Exercises
In addition to walking through a beautiful place, you can also try many mindful walking exercises that will put you at ease and strengthen your mind. For instance, you can simply count every step you take and see when your mind wanders. Don’t judge yourself, and try counting from where you left off when it does. It is a great way to align your body and mind.
Another way to appreciate your entire self is to focus on a particular part of your body as you walk. So, you can walk for five minutes as you focus on the moment of the souls of your feet. Then you can go another five minutes as you shift your attention to your ankles, then your hips, and so on. This is a great way to lose yourself and have a peaceful walk.
It is important to remember that you don’t always have to travel for miles to get the benefits of mindful walking. Even a break between classes can do wonders to clear your mind.
As you can see, walking to improve your mental health is a great way to spend your downtime during your college years. Take a walk whenever you feel stressed, and feel better every day.