Many people picture meditation as something you do indoors, sitting cross-legged on the floor of a completely silent room. But as long as you feel rested and restored after your practice, there is no right or wrong way — or place — to meditate. In fact, bringing mindfulness outdoors can add another dimension to your meditation routine. So in celebration of the beautiful summer weather, we're exploring mindfulness practices that you can do in a park, on a walk, or sitting in your own backyard.
We breathe all day, every day. It's something we never even think about. But when we tune into our bodies and focus on an act as simple as breathing, something truly transformative can happen. In fact, studies show that mindful breathing exercises can encourage positive thought processes and even reduce symptoms of anxiety.
The beauty of breathing exercises is that you can do them anywhere. All you need is a comfortable seat in an upright position.
Here's a straightforward breathing exercise to try, called "box breathing."
For most able-bodied people, walking is something we do on auto-pilot. We stroll around without ever really noticing or connecting with our surroundings. We're so busy getting from point A to Point B that we forget to slow down and appreciate the privilege and pleasure of something as simple as walking.
A walking meditation is an excellent way to practice mindfulness in your daily life. It's especially great for people who struggle to sit still and close their eyes while meditating.
Here’s how to do it:
Grounding, also known as "earthing," refers to direct skin contact with the Earth's surface. Earthing can be anything from walking barefoot through a field of grass to submerging your hands in a crisp, clear lake. While there’s no extensive research behind the health benefits of grounding, smaller studies indicate that the technique can help with inflammation, pain, mood, and more. And, hey — since conventional wisdom says that being outside is good for you, there's no harm in trying a quick earthing exercise, right? Next time you're outdoors, you can easily ground yourself by allowing the bottoms of your bare feet, palms of your hands, or entire body to touch the Earth. Sit with your back against a tree trunk, walk through the grass, lay on the sand, wade in a lake, or go for a quick dip in the ocean. These are all easy ways to reconnect to Earth naturally and create a moment for mindfulness.
If you want to flex your mindful muscles out of doors, look no further than a simple listening meditation. The goal of listening meditation is to focus on just one sense: hearing.
Here's how to do it:
At Firefly, we're all about helping people find sustainable ways to bring mindfulness to their lives. If you'd like help with a plan that fits your unique lifestyle and needs, consult with your care team today through the Firefly app. Not a member yet? Get started by signing up on our website or giving us a call at (855) 869-9284.