The phenomenon of silent walking is nothing new. In fact, it’s long been practiced by Buddhist monks, and the late Thich Nhat Hanh was a huge advocate of walking meditations as a complement to seated meditations. Humans have been aware of the power of contemplative walking for a long time now.
The idea has become popular on TikTok thanks to Mady Maio, who shared about the way she came to discover the benefits of walking quietly. She called it “silent walking” and shared that her nutritionist told her to limit high-intensity cardio because it was causing inflammation in her body. Instead, she was encouraged to go walking for 30 minutes a day. Her boyfriend added to the idea, by suggesting that Maio walk without any distractions. Maio said that the first two minutes can be tough for anxiety, but once she works through that, she shared that she gains a lot of insight and intuition through the silence.
Fans of TikTok trends will recall the “hot girl” walk that took over social media in the summer of 2022, coined by Mia Lind. That trend incorporated walking for 4 miles a day where you’re only allowed to think about what you’re grateful for, what your goals are and how to achieve them, and, of course, how hot you are. Music, podcasts, and other background noise were acceptable. While this is well and good, silent walking has different benefits.