I Couldn't Sit Still While Meditating, So I Tried Walking Meditation Instead
I cannot make myself sit still to meditate right now, which is ironic because I think I've needed the practice more than ever before.
My worrying is at an all-time high, and I know I'm not alone in experiencing this surge of anxiety — the stress of the unknown is overwhelming.
Within 60 seconds of sitting down to meditate — even when it's only a five-minute session — I find myself fidgeting, peeking at the clock, stretching, and inevitably, simply surrendering to the spiral of my racing thoughts and walking away.
The good news is all that squirming finally inspired an idea: giving walking meditation a go.
In that moment, I downloaded five different meditation apps and meticulously searched through each database for guided sessions to add to my morning routine.
Simple Habit came through with a seven-minute walking meditation session called "Sensations and Surroundings" guided by Sean Fargo.
In need of fresh air, I started the session outside immediately after my run — the commentator suggested picking a space that allowed you to listen safely, whether that's in your own home, in a park, or in your backyard.
It opens by asking you to acknowledge how your body feels while standing still and deeply breathing in and out. After a few minutes, the commentator suggests starting to walk, concentrating on how your feet feel as they hit the ground.
All the while, the commentator continues to guide you though breath work while providing sensory prompts. What sounds do you hear? Do you feel the wind? What shapes do you see?
Taking in the surrounding sensations distracted me from the uneasiness that has recently consumed me. Instead of going down a rabbit hole, thinking of everything that could happen in the near future, I was focused on the present and how my body felt in that moment.
I felt grounded, calm, and content, while also getting rid of some pent-up energy by walking around.
I still have no desire to sit and meditate, but it's nice to know I can rest and reflect while moving my body, too — even if it is just pacing back and forth in my kitchen.
When getting through life's stressful moments, it's all about taking one step at a time.