Try to recall a time when you took a Metro ride or walked on the treadmill without a specially curated playlist being fed into your ears.
We’ll save you some time as the practice would be futile. We’ve gotten so used to the hustle-bustle of our daily lives and the constant barrage of information that we’re exposed to nearly every waking minute, that it’s impossible to comprehend taking out a chunk of your day to be alone with your thoughts.
A viral wellness trend, however, is asking people to do just that for many mental and physical benefits.
The ‘Silent Walking’ trend asks people to walk in nature without any distractions, like music or another person. Intrigued? Here’s everything you want to know about this simple trend that could change your life…
Everything To Know About ‘Silent Walking’
What is ‘Silent Walking’?
As the name suggests, it’s essentially going for a walk without any distractions, like music or pets. The health benefits of walking have been well-documented and recent studies have also suggested that an hour-long walk in nature can reduce stress significantly in urban dwellers. ‘Silent Walking’ asks you to take this a step further and disconnect from distracting stimuli and increase mindfulness.
This is by no means a new discovery. ‘Silent Walking’ has been around for ages, with Buddhist monks and Yoga experts preaching its benefits to their followers.
However, it gained popularity online recently when TikTok creator Mady Maio revealed that her boyfriend had challenged her to take her nutritionist-prescribed daily walk with “no AirPods, no podcasts, no music”. Many users shared their own experiences with how walking without distractions allowed them to think more clearly and reduced their stress levels significantly.
What do experts have to say about ‘Silent Walking’?
This wellness trend is backed by mental health experts. The practice of disconnecting from the fast-paced world that places multi-tasking on a pedestal and focusing on one task, walking in this case, at a time has been proven to provide health benefits like lower blood pressure, improved blood glucose levels, and a lower heart rate. It also allows you to think more clearly, reduce your stress levels, and get in touch with yourself.
How to practice ‘Silent Walking’?
If you’re going for a ‘Silent Walk’, then you need to leave behind your phone, earphones, and smartwatches. It would also be ideal if you could do this alone, without a friend in tow, so that you’re not distracted.
While walking, remember to take in your surroundings and focus on how you’re feeling. Try to quieten your mind by taking note of the different sensations you’re experiencing while walking, like the temperature or the sounds of nature.
You can also practice ‘Grounding’ to increase mindfulness while you’re out on your walk. For this, you’ll need to walk on the ground barefoot to allow your body to connect with the Earth on a primal level. This practice is known to have a significant impact on brain activity and has other physiological health benefits like fighting fatigue, better heart health and chronic pain relief. However, you should consult a wellness expert before trying it yourself and figure out a way that would suit you personally.
Since you won’t have your phone with you while you’re out, make sure to inform someone about your whereabouts and pick a place that you’re familiar with.
Ideally, you should practice ‘Silent Walking’ in nature but if you don’t have access to that, then you should pick a space where there will be minimal distractions.
So the next time you’re heading out for a walk, try doing it without listening to music or chatting with your friend!