Stress and burnout have been some of the biggest challenges in today’s modern world. Life has been accelerating at a rapid pace through the years. And while this brought about prosperity never seen before, it also has a huge toll on our daily lives. Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses have been linked to unhealthy amounts of stress. Fortunately, there is a way to effectively and healthily remedy this problem: through the practice of mindfulness and Mindful Adventure Travel.
What is Mindfulness, exactly?
Mindfulness is simply being fully aware of the present. It is a practice of being fully aware of one’s senses, thoughts, and the things around them. Mindfulness encourages being aware, but not reactive to these phenomena. In essence, it is being conscious of both external and internal experiences at every given moment.
Modern mindfulness’ roots can be traced back to ancient East Asian teachings of Zen Buddhism. Sati or correct mindfulness is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths to Spiritual Enlightenment or Nirvana. Fast-forward to 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn founded Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a program designed to help patients deal with stress. He did this by combining elements from East Asian practices and modern Psychology.
Mindfulness is a way for people to slow down and savor every little detail in the world outside as well as inside. This is a deliberate and conscious effort to examine everything without judgment and with full acceptance.
In a way, mindfulness is a skill that can be honed through practice and time. One of the most popular exercises is meditation. So popular, in fact, that it is sometimes seen as the same thing. But meditation is just one of the many ways to practice and encourage mindfulness. Others include breathwork exercises and pranayama, forest bathing, some types of yoga, and journaling. There is also a way that these mindfulness practices are combined with nature and adventure travel to form ‘Mindful Adventure Travel,’ a term coined by Recal Travel.
What is Mindful Adventure Travel and how does it work?
To put it simply, Mindful Adventure Travel is a way to enjoy an immersive experience in nature, but with a different mindset. In combining adventurous physical activities and mindfulness exercises, an environment is created to enable one to recalibrate themselves and feel rejuvenated. Hence, why this is an effective remedy to burnout.
Mindful Adventure Travel also puts a special emphasis on the role of nature and the outdoors in one’s mindfulness practice journey. The immersion lets one get away from the fast-paced humdrum of city life and instead bathe in the serenity and calm of mother nature.
Like traditional outdoor excursions, it includes familiar activities like hiking, backpacking, camping, paddling remote lakes, or biking. But, what makes it unique is the inclusion of mindfulness exercises – in particular breathwork – that are seamlessly integrated into the itinerary.
What are the benefits of Mindful Adventure Travel?
As a new way to experience the outdoors, it brings about a few key benefits. One of the biggest benefits is its effect on your overall health. Stress and burnout not only affect you mentally, but it also manifests physical symptoms. If unmanaged, it can lead to high blood pressure, digestive problems, insomnia, and a weak immune system. Mindful Adventure Travel provides you with a useful tool to combat your stress level in an effective way.
The physical aspects of the trip itself also provide a number of benefits. Physical exertion improves one’s stamina, endurance, and promotes muscle growth. Hiking, biking, trekking, or canoeing are essentially whole-body workouts. Exercise can also help fight depression, as studies have shown that exercise has a direct impact in reducing the effects of depression. In a way, a mindful adventure trip can become a form of transformational travel for anyone who embarks on the trip.
How to make your adventure travel more mindful?
You can choose to embark on crafting your own experience, or you can choose to take a trip with Recal, a company that specializes in Mindful Adventure Travel. If choosing to build out your own trip, the beauty of mindfulness is that it can easily integrate into your travels without much disruption. Below is a list of simple, yet effective, practices that help cultivate the type of transformational travel you might be aiming for:
In order to be effective, mindfulness should be practiced regularly. Journaling, like the type done using a Recal Journal, helps you do this by forming a habit. When you sit down and actively examine your thoughts and sensations to write, you get to practice thought examination on a regular basis. Having a physical record of your experiences is also a good way to witness change over time.
Going intentionally, at a slower, steadier pace
A lot of times, we go on trips with the goal of seeing and doing as much as possible. This need to feel “productive” can be a major source of stress. Going intentionally, which might be at a slower, steadier pace, is the best way to be a mindful traveler. It enables you to see, feel, hear, and be in the moment along the way.
Mindful meditation has always been a constant companion to the mindfulness movement. With roots in ancient Asian traditions, this activity is a good way to be aware of yourself and your surroundings. The deliberate act of meditation lets you see yourself from a different perspective. It is also a way to practice making a conscious effort to “see” reality without judgment.
Much like meditation, breathwork is also an effective exercise in mindfulness. There are many types of breathwork, but simply put: it is the practice of deep breathing exercises to produce a desired state of mind — whether that is heightened awareness, calm, deep introspection, or something else. This simple activity is easy to do anywhere and anytime you can. This works great, especially when paired with other activities like meditation or physical exercise.
Connect with the locals
Immersing and understanding the local culture is one good way to practice a more mindful approach to traveling. Taking the time to understand their way of life without prejudice and judgment lets you practice judgment-free interactions in your life. This also helps you get more out of your trips by actually forging genuine human connections along the way.
This practice was made popular in Japan in the 1980s. It is described as surrounding yourself in nature. To immerse oneself in nature’s wonders and to take it all in. For this, it is preferred to have as natural of an environment as possible, inclusive of trees, thich forest, wildlife, plants, and other elements of nature. To practice, simply experience all of nature through your senses and just be in the moment.
Mindful Adventure Travel is a great way to step back from the maelstrom of modern life and center oneself. This is why a company like Recal focuses on the importance of mindfulness in one’s travels. They offer sustainable, inclusive, and mindful travel experiences for people who wish to recalibrate and recenter their being.