Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Dr. Alisha Barnes
My furry little soul mate is now 11 years old, I can’t believe it!
She has taught me so many amazing things over the years and has recently been teaching me how to be more mindful. We used to go for 30-60 minute walks every day at a brisk pace. This was awesome because I loved to add those extra calories burned to my exercise tracker. It allowed me to give myself an extra pat on the back.
However, as she has gotten older, she has been teaching me something much more valuable. She has taught me how to be mindful. As she has aged and slowed down, our walks have become shorter and MUCH slower, something I was not used to. However, I am learning the beauty of this change and how it allows more mindfulness into our walks. Mindfulness is on the cutting edge in psychology with numerous studies showing how it can help reduce anxiety, depression and burnout. It can not only improve your quality of life but can improve your health as well. We all happen to have an amazing coach right on the end of the leash.
Now as we walk, I practice being present and accepting. I notice the sights and sounds around me. As Luna stops to smell the third bush in a row, I take the time to look at the sun shining through the leaves or the smile she has on her face. She has taught me how to accept the changing of times and how to be grateful for new lessons.
Here is how mindfulness walks can help you
- Decreases stress levels by decreasing your stress hormone cortisol
- Reduces amygdala activity thereby allowing us to be less reactive to stressors
- Improves cognitive function allowing you to be more effective with daily tasks
- Improves immune function and overall health and wellbeing
I encourage you to use your furry mindfulness coach and use this practice on your daily walks. Please tell me how it goes!