Written by: Agnes Gomori, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
We look at autumn as the last hurray of the year, reviewing the to-do list we created in the new year, focusing on ticking off a few more actions before getting ready for the festive season. The clock goes back; we have less daylight and the temperature drops. We reason with ourselves that it’s okay to spend more time indoors, even though it affects our mood and energy negatively.
One way to combat low mood and anxiety is to spend some time daily outdoors, surrounded by trees. Breathing in the crisp autumn air while looking at the vibrant coloured leaves can be the first step in elevating our mood. It’s the perfect time of the year to start a new habit of mindful walking. Autumn walks in the forest will not only boost our immune system, but the magical colours of the leaves will act as Mother Nature’s colour therapy.
During mindful walks, we can consciously involve our five senses; our eyesight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. This helps us to be in the present, not just with our thoughts and feelings, but with our body, too.
I use mindful walk and talk sessions with my clients to help them deal with their anxiety. I know first-hand how much it can contribute to our overall well-being. It helped me throughout the years whenever I felt overwhelmed, including recovering from burnout. Walk and talk sessions are not about exercising outdoors, although inevitably there are physical benefits to it too. It’s about slowing down being in the present and allowing us to feel our emotions; not running away from it.
Our mental health will thank us if we regularly surround ourselves with the sound of nature, away from the noise of civilization. When we are walking and talking, our ability to reflect increases. We can see things from a different perspective and it helps in decision making.
Hearing the soothing sounds of nature has an instant calming effect. The vibrant visual feast of the autumn leaves encourages creative thinking and breathing in the fresh air helps us to clear our mind. It also helps us to measure how connected or disconnected we are at the moment. When we are disconnected from the Self, we tend to just rush through a walk, without noticing the details of our surroundings. It feels ‘scary’ to slow down because then we can’t hide behind our self-created busyness, but when we practise mindful walking, we need to face our thoughts, our emotions.
It’s not uncommon that I need to ask the client to slow down. Some of us are so used to rushing through our day, we forget how to enjoy the present moment. When we slow down, it forces us to look inside and deal with our problems. We are more open to talking through our pressing issues whilst we’re out in the fresh air. The way you connect with yourself, others and ultimately with the world can be much deeper.
Being out in the open allows us to be more resourceful in our thinking. It is literally thinking outside of the box (room). Walking next to each other creates a better rapport between the coach and the client. Some people find it hard to open up in a traditional consultation room or via a zoom video. Waking side by side is less intimidating to the client, as the coach is not looking at them directly. It can also benefit people who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Even just 20 minutes of daily walk can help to preserve a healthy level of vitamin D.
Growing up in a city surrounded by mountains, lakes and vast forests, the love of nature has been imprinted in me. Hiking, running, and wild lake swimming would be part of my life and when I started practising martial arts in my teens, I discovered the power of meditation. We eagerly practised it with friends and found it was especially effective when we did a short meditation outdoors. Until then, I always focused on the physical activity itself. When I took my time and slowed down to observe my surroundings, I felt much calmer, grounded, and centred.
After moving to London, I introduced some of my new friends to mindful walking and talking and it made sense to offer it to my clients when I started my coaching and healing practise. There is something therapeutic about discussing pressing matters while walking side by side and even embracing silence together. Instead of a vigorous workout, mindful walk and talk sessions aim to create a mind-body-soul balance gently by reconnecting to the Self and being centred and grounded.
Nature helps us to focus on the things which we can be grateful for. Building a habit of mindful walking not only connects us with nature better but with ourselves, too. Even just practising it once a week has proven health benefits such as increased energy levels, improved mood, and better sleep. Mother Nature gives us the ultimate therapeutic background, and combining your walk with coaching can help you keep your anxiety at bay.
Agnes Gomori, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Agnes Gomori is an Intuitive Life Coach and Healer. As a multi-passionate, creative Empath, Agnes is committed to helping fellow Empaths to find their true calling by applying the healing power of arts and nature, which she combines with energy healing in her therapeutic coaching sessions. Agnes has helped clients from across the globe to unlock their true potential. Her mission is to help extroverted Empaths become the empowered creators they were born to be.