With the start of spring we are having some lovely weather when the outdoors beckons us to go for a walk. I think of this type of weather as 'Goldilocks weather', not too hot and not too cold but just right. For a moment there I thought I had made up an expression but when I googled it I found this expression has been used by others. Oh well.
Recently I came across the term 'Savouring Walk' on the internet. The idea of a savouring walk is to spend twenty minutes taking a walk during which you make a point of using your senses to notice everything around you. Really look at the things around you. Look up at the leaves silhouetted against the sky. Notice how the small purple flowers contrast with the grey trunk of the tree they are growing next to.
Purple flowers against grey trunk Image by Marie Vonow
Stop every now and then and look all around you. Breathe deep and smell the flowers or the damp earth. You may smell someone cooking something yummy for tea. Touch some moss and notice how soft it feels. Use as many of your senses as possible.
Instead of thinking about your shopping list or trying to work out the solution to a problem practise mindfulness and live in the moment. Forget about the argument you had at work this morning.
The idea is to concentrate on the positive so ignore any litter or other negatives you may come across.
When you see something you consider positive think about why it brings you pleasure.
These lorikeets bring me pleasure because they are so brightly coloured. Also, I don't see them often because they are usually hidden in the leaves of a tree. Image by Marie Vonow
The next day go for another twenty minute walk but choose a different route and so on every day for a week. Choosing a different route keeps the experience fresh and you are less likely to zone out and think about other things.
A study was done by Loyola University Chicago. It was found the participants who took savouring walks for a week said they felt an increase in happiness. The test group who took walks as usual without concentrating on the positive did not experience an increase in happiness.
Taking a savouring walk is another way of acknowledging gratitude for the good and positive things that are in our everyday lives.