Silent Walking: Your Guide to Mindful Movement

A Moving Meditation for Stress Reduction and Inner Harmony

In our modern world, filled with constant noise and distractions, a “new” trend has emerged called “silent walking,” and it’s all about escaping the chaos that surrounds us. I had to smile when I first came across this “new” trend. So we have come full circle: we started with the great writers of our time recommending long, silent walks to increase creativity, we then slammed on our headphones so that we could listen first to the radio, then to our favourite music on tapes and CDs, then to podcasts and audiobooks, and now we are right back to walking in silence. We are, once again, seeking ways to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. In this article, we’ll explore the “new” silent walking trend and its benefits.

The Surprising Power of Silence

What has changed since famous writers like Henry David Thoreau, who said “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow,” started to encourage us to walk?

Mindfulness, enabling us to connect with our surroundings on a deeper level, has become a popular practice.

Mindful walking, in silence, has become more than just a leisurely stroll; it’s now a deliberate practice of walking in complete silence, without any external distractions.

Dr. Sarah Turner, a clinical psychologist, emphasizes the importance of silence in our busy lives. She states, “In a world that bombards us with constant noise and information, silence becomes a precious commodity. Silent walking offers a unique opportunity to escape the noise and rediscover the beauty of the world around us.” It’s often done in natural settings, such as parks, forests, or along the shoreline, where the sights, sounds and smells of nature can be appreciated.

On TikTok, people are taking part in a challenge to stroll without the accompaniment of music or podcasts. Is it just me, or is there a certain irony to this statement? Mady Maio, who started the trend, said: “Every time I finish a silent walk, I have a new idea for my business, I’ve untangled a weird situation in my head that I’ve been ruminating over and I feel like a lot of my current question marks get answered.”

Dr Raafat Girgis says, “Staying away from noise can cultivate a sense of awareness and connection with your environment, promoting mental clarity and reducing rumination or intrusive thoughts. Silently walking in nature allows the brain and body to focus on the present moment, thus reducing excessive, repetitive thinking that can increase stress. Also, external noise causes brain stimulation in the nervous system, which “responds by raising levels of stress hormones in the brain. While in nature, removing the stressors and replacing them with quiet thought with no interference … your mood improves naturally. Even though silent walking is now presenting itself as new and trendy, some religious groups have practised it as mental health treatment “for some time.”

Indeed. For several centuries, in fact.

Mindfulness Revisited

So focusing on each step and paying attention to the environment, helps us to clear our minds and reduce stress. This concept is echoed by mindfulness expert, Dr. Emily Roberts, who explains, “Silent walking is a form of moving meditation. It allows you to let go of your worries and immerse yourself in the sensory experience of walking. It’s a powerful tool for reducing anxiety and improving mental clarity.”

Physical and Mental Benefits

The silent walking trend isn’t just about finding inner peace; it also offers a range of physical and mental health benefits. Dr. Mark Davis, a physician and advocate of silent walking, notes, “Regular silent walking can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and help with weight management. It’s a low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all fitness levels.”

Furthermore, silent walking has been linked to improved mental well-being. Dr. Lisa Patel, a psychiatrist, states, “The practice of silent walking can boost mood, reduce symptoms of depression, and enhance overall emotional well-being. It provides a break from the constant chatter of our minds and allows us to be in tune with our feelings.”

Disconnect to Reconnect

In today’s hyper-connected world, we are slowly realizing that for our mental well-being, we need to regularly disconnect from screens and digital distractions. Silent walking provides an opportunity to do just that. Julie Adams, a silent walking enthusiast, shares her experience, saying, “I used to spend hours scrolling through social media and watching TV, but I felt disconnected from the real world. Silent walking has helped me unplug and reconnect with nature and myself.”

So take your airpods out, and join the Silent Walking Movement.

An Insightgiving Way of Life

Silent walking isn’t just a passing trend; it’s becoming a way of life for many. As Dr. Davis aptly puts it, “Silent walking is a trend worth embracing. It’s a gentle reminder that in silence, we can find solace, clarity, and a renewed appreciation for the world around us,” and Maria Rodriguez, a dedicated practitioner, says, “Silent walking has become a daily ritual for me. It’s a time when I can reflect, recharge, and appreciate the simple beauty of life. It has transformed the way I see the world.”

Getting Started

If you’re interested in trying silent walking, all you need is a quiet place to walk and a willingness to embrace silence. Start with short walks in a park or nature reserve. Pay attention to each step, the sensation of your feet touching the ground, and the sounds of nature around you. As you become more comfortable, you can extend the duration of your walks.”

Here at Esprit Meraki, during our Camino de Santiago de Compostela walks, guests do exactly that, but we call it “walking meditation or “mindful walking.”


After a walking meditation, guests are encouraged to do a writing meditation here at Esprit Meraki using the following prompts: Did you notice any shifts in your thoughts, emotions, or mindset during your meditation? Did any insights emerge while you walked mindfully? Were there any challenges or distractions that arose during your walking meditation? How did you overcome these? Did you have any breakthrough moments? Consider how you can integrate the lessons learned from your walking meditation into your daily life. Are there specific actions or insights you can use to enhance your overall well-being?

The rise of the silent walking trend is a testament to our innate need for silence and connection in an increasingly noisy world. As more people seek refuge from the constant hustle and bustle of modern life, silent walking can provide a path to serenity and self-discovery.

So, if you’re looking for a way to escape the neverending noise and find peace in stillness, consider taking a silent walk – or even better, come on a Camino de Santiago de Compostela Walking Retreat here in the south of France, to discover how immersing yourself in nature and mindfully using all five senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste – can become a feast for the senses and dramatically reduce stress.

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