Silent Walking – Exploring The New TikTok Trend And Its Mental Health Benefits
Each day, TikTok brings a new trend, and this time, it is called Silent Walking. Tiktok Creator Mady Maio has shared the benefits of Silent walking. We’re all used to seeing people talking to one another while walking, having conversations over the phone, or listening to music, but it seems #SilentWalking is changing the trend. But what is it, and how does it help?
Here’s a quick guide that explains silent walking and how it helps lower stress levels.
What is Silent Walking?
The term explains itself: it is walking in silence. Unlike the hot girl walk, where you walk four miles listening to a motivational podcast, it is walking peacefully without plugging in earphones. What, no headphones?
Yes, you read it right: it is walking without headphones. Here, you need to pay attention to your heartbeat, footsteps, and the sound of nature. This walk involves using all five senses when walking. In short, it is a mindful walking where you focus on your surroundings.
Benefits of #SilentWalking on Mental Health
We all know that walking has several benefits on our physical health, and when combined with silence, it benefits mental well-being. To support this, several studies have been conducted, and they all suggest that silence, even for two minutes, helps lower stress levels, blood pressure, and even heart rate.
Even the TikTok users who are now fans of silent walking say silent walking helps in:
- Clear thinking
- Connecting with within
- Enhances creativity
- More focused and attentive
Furthermore, a study published in PNAS found that “Participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness compared with those who walked through an urban environment.”
1. Increases Mindfulness
When you walk in silence without plugging in earphones or talking to anyone, it is a meditative experience. As you say goodbye to your headphones, a space is created for other things. You are now open to feeling the cool breeze and listening to birds chirping and other sounds. You can now see the beauty around you, feel the sun on your skin, and embrace the Kaizen meditation.
As you become mindful, you start to live in the present moment, which helps improve your mental health, focus, and attention. Also, you get solutions to many issues, decreasing anxiety and depression.
Due to our profession, most of us spend most of our time in front of the screens. This is fine as you have to work, but taking a break from it is always good, and a silent walk gives that opportunity.
As you ditch your headphones, you no longer need to carry your phone along. This will not only make you feel light while walking but also will make you free from the thoughts of taking care of electronic devices.
This break from technology will help embrace quietness and pay attention to those thoughts that go unheard due to the noise produced by device and other social media platforms.
In addition to the above two benefits silent walking also helps relieve stress. As you learn to stay in the present, you are able to break the vicious cycle of overthinking and are able to focus on things that matter. Also, the negative thoughts, the worry of the future, and what ifs all take the back seat, helping you be aware of what your body and mind demand.
A silent walk is a time when you are without gadgets and distractions, the sources of making your mind wander. You feel the silence you are able to listen to the unsaid words, and are able to be grateful for all that you have.
Some of these walks will help work on focus, while other times will be able to look within and get the answers.
To cope with anxiety, depression, and stress, the one thing that is suggested is to get active and start doing some physical activity. Walking is a physical activity that will help you keep fit, and when you do it in silence, it helps lower stress. The element of quietness will make a big difference in decreasing the stress hormone and appreciating peace.
When you have a problem on hand or you are stuck when doing something creativity looking for solution for such issues can be stressing. The best way to deal with such situations is to take a long walk.
This will help clear your mind and will give you a different way to look at things. As you walk silently and dive deep into consciousness your sub conscious mind will give you answers to the questions you ask. As the mind relaxes it helps untie the knot of doubts and confusion giving you space you think clearly and be creative again.
How to get started with silent walking?
It is the same as regular walking. The only difference is that as you lace up your trainers and leave home for a nature walk, you need to forget about your earphones. Initially, it might feel strange as you are used to talking on the phone or listening to music or podcasts while walking.
However, don’t let this feeling overpower you. Lean into this feeling of discomfort, and in no time, you will enjoy walking in silence. Sometimes, the walks seem longer than usual, but it is okay. You can shorten your walk and give yourself the time to get accustomed.
Start with just two minutes of silent walking then slowly increase the time and you will never know when two minutes will turn into two hours.
Enjoy Walking in Silence Without Headphones
If the thought of walking without earphones is overwhelming, start with shorter walks. Challenge and reward yourself with small wins. The key is to embrace silence and connect with yourself, not the external world.
As you leave technology behind, allow yourself to dive deep into your consciousness and understand what your body has to say. Do not fall for the external stimuli. Go with the flow and admire all you see while walking. This will help keep me motivated.
Also, you can change route each time you go on a walk and keep changing the pace to stay on track. The walk without earphones is not at all odd, once you start doing it regularly you will understand listening to high volume over headphones is not good for both ear and mental health.
Stick to the routine and be mindful, you will relish the walk and the benefits it brings. Make it a habit and enjoy nature by setting the right vibration to start the day.