Meditation has been tagged with some interesting stereotypes over the years. Many people think you have to be in a dark, quiet room with your legs crossed and eyes closed, doing some kind of “ohm” chant to meditate properly.
That’s just not true.
Meditation can take many forms – including hiking and backpacking. If those are hobbies you already love, it’s time to consider how they can help you feel re-centered and reduce your stress levels while you’re on the trail.
Many spiritual leaders have touted the effectiveness of walking meditation, and you can apply those principles to your hikes by being more mindful on each journey. If you’ve never meditated before, it can take some practice to connect physical activity to a clearing of the mind. But, hiking is already a great way to improve your mental and physical health.
Adding meditation to your walks can help you feel more connected with the earth, and yourself.
Let’s cover some of the benefits of hiking as meditation and how you can set clear intentions for your treks.
The Benefits of a Mindful Hike
There’s no question that simply spending time in nature is good for your health. It reduces stress and anxiety and can offer a boost of energy. Taking things one step further (no pun intended) through walking meditation can offer even greater benefits to your physical and mental well-being. Some of the “perks” you can expect from being more mindful on your hikes include:
- Increased blood flow
- Improved digestion
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved circulation
- Better sleep quality
- Enhanced balance
Walking meditation also helps with symptoms of depression and anxiety and can boost your creativity levels if it feels like you’ve been in a slump lately.