Make meditation your medication. It requires your conscious and sustained use of attention, which distances you from your mind-chatter. I often advise my patients to use meditation as part of their mind-body therapies to lower blood pressure, treat anxiety and depression, and decrease blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Research has shown that those who learn to meditate have a statistically significant reduction in anxiety and feel less stressed and worried. Meditation has been shown to decrease insulin resistance and reduce addictive behaviors such as cigarette smoking and alcohol use, among other benefits. Unlike a seated meditation with your eyes closed, walking meditation connects you with your environment.
Walking meditation allows us to meditate during our everyday activities. The slow methodical movements are calming, relieve stress, and focus the mind –essential for well-being and optimal health. Those struggling with sitting still when initiating their meditation practice usually find it easier to start with walking meditation. Walking slowly and formally may be an acquired taste. If this is true for you, then walk for a few minutes each day and build up as it becomes a more joyful, natural habit.
Many spiritual traditions have walking meditation paths called labyrinths. A famous winding path is the one set into the floor stones in the nave of Chartres Cathedral in France where pilgrims have been coming to walk the labyrinth for 1000 years. Often, walking meditations are practiced outdoors. This meditation is creating a profound sense of connection between you and nature, as you synchronize your body, breath and mind in the present moment. I love this practice at a nearby beach for the added benefit of connecting with nature through the smell of the ocean, the sound of waves, the feel of the breeze on my skin and the sand under my feet. I also have a very large canvas version of the Chartres labyrinth that we use at Pacific Pearl La Jolla. It is about a 25-minute walk to the center of the labyrinth and back. Imagine being in the moment — when combined with a candlelit room and recorded chanting or live crystal singing bowls, it is an ethereal, transformative experience.
Meditation: in depth – https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm
Mindfulness based stress reduction – https://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/research/mbsr-research/
Walking meditation, why it works – https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/walking_meditation#data-tab-why
The Chartres labyrinth – https://www.lessons4living.com/chartres_labyrinth.htm