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How to Incorporate Mindfulness by Changing One Thing

We have all seen them. The people walking glued to their phone. It is like a piece of fishing line connecting the top of the head to the top of the screen. Looking down.

Crossing roads ambivalent to their safety. Engrossed with the outside world through a glass rectangle. Being somewhere else except in the present.

Walking down busy streets hoping the few pedestrians who are looking up will make way for them. In fact, we are all guilty of viewing the screen and not the scene.

And then there are health issues that come from this repetitive downward trend of the head – “Text Neck”. The repetitive increased weight of the head as inclined over the shoulders causes severe neck pain. “If left untreated, a 'text neck' can lead to the inflammation of the neck ligaments, nerve irritation and increased curvature in the spine,” writes John Miller from Physio Works.

Enter the “phone free walk” as a way of increasing our mindfulness and preventing “Text Neck”.

In these busy lives we lead, most answers to preventive measures is “I don’t have time.” The phone free walk is about incorporating what you would do normally without the phone. Leave the phone in your pocket, bag or even better at the desk. This is time you have to free up the brain and take in the environment.

Look up and around, rather down.

Check out the scenery and not the screenery.

Be observant. Be curious. Be mindful.

Notice the changes and the environment around you. Eyes open and brain activated. Something fresh. Not work orientated. Not phone orientated. But world orientated. Your world.

This is a form of mindfulness. Being aware of your surroundings. By consciously appreciating, actually acknowledging what is happening around you is a form of mindfulness. Think of it as time out from the pressures and stresses of life.

What do you notice? What is out there? Who is out there?

And if you have the extra motivation, when waiting, resist the phone and observe your surroundings. This is a head up exercise. Not rocket science. But the benefits are uplifting. Including reduced physio visits.

Try it. It can’t hurt. Whatever was in the phone that you were going to read, will be there when you get back. Take in the scenery and avoid the screenery.

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