This article written for us by Rachel Crowther at Street Wisdom shares the benefits of integrating mindfulness into our daily routine through being present whilst walking the street.

The benefits of simply going for a walk can be powerful - taking the time to slow down, to be outside, to reflect - but we rarely take the time to do it.  Going for a walk tends to be saved for picturesque locations on holidays and beaches, but fitting a stroll in to your everyday routine could actually be quite life-changing...

Walking is a great way of adding another dimension to your mindfulness practice. Up on your feet and adding movement: getting your circulation pumping, walking away any stress and finding a change in scenery. It can also be a brilliant way of integrating mindfulness into your daily routine. A mindful morning walk combines your daily practice whilst also getting from A to B - win win. It makes mindfulness more accessible: it can be done anytime, anywhere and influences other areas of your life.

Street Wisdom encompasses walking mindfulness in an urban environment, you don’t have to go on weekends away or expensive retreats to reap the benefits - everything you need is already around you. The approach is based on the simple but powerful proposition that the environment and people around us are full of wisdom we largely ignore. The process allows us to change our state and become more aware, so we can benefit from this rich source of untapped wisdom. 

We are so used to rushing around, often whilst scrolling social media or composing an email, that we don’t take the time to look around and notice what is going on. Tuning in to our environment unlocks the subconscious so that we can see things we didn’t before: signs, patterns, symbols, people...the list goes on.

Before a Street Wisdom wander, we ask you to come with a question or problem you’ve been trying to solve. This could be anything to do with your career (Should I move jobs/go self-employed/take a new direction?) to personal (Should I leave the city/end a relationship/change lifestyle?) and anything in between. We guide you through a three-hour immersive experience to help you tune in and pay attention, open your eyes and find answers to your question. The results can be pretty powerful.

Try out this CHALLENGE to get a taster of the benefits of Street Wisdom. Next time you are walking anywhere, challenge yourself to slow right down. Slow down your breathing, thinking, pace, movements. It might feel silly at first as everyone around you will continue to rush around but just enjoy it. Make the most of stepping back from the normal pace. Take the time to look around you and take in what’s going on around you, the things you perhaps wouldn’t normally notice if you were rushing. This is just one of the exercises we give to people on our workshops to get them into a more mindful headspace.

Once you’ve experienced Street Wisdom at one of our free events, you can use the approach in your daily life. Making the most of your commute, lunch break, school run etc. You can use walks to solve problems and come up with new ideas. You’ll see the streets you walk on everyday in a totally new light and realise answers are everywhere, if you would just slow down to see them.

Street Wisdom events are volunteer-led and take place all over the world. To find one near you, click here. We’re teaming up with the Mindful Living Show in January for a special session held in collaboration with Breathworks in Manchester. Secure your free place, by signing up here.