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[LifeStyle] "Walking in silence" is an ideal way to relieve stress and anxiety


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A few days ago, Lisa McCarty, an activist in the field of women's health, chose to put the results of her experience in the hands of "more than a billion people who suffer from migraines around the world," and she stated in an article in the American newspaper "Newsweek" that she had finally succeeded in getting rid of the headache pain that It took her 3 years, after she went through the experience of “walking in silence.”




McCarty achieved success when she began searching for natural solutions to her problem, after practicing yoga a few days a week failed; Walking short distances for a few months while listening to music, a podcast, or an audio book all the time; In solving her problem.

In the summer of last year, motivated by her love for walking; Mental health and lifestyle writer Markie Patel joined an online group to take on the challenge of walking 45 minutes a day. But she quickly felt exhausted, due to the conflict between trying to use the walking time to take a walk, focus on mental health, and get away from the pressures of work. And at the same time listen to audiobooks and podcasts, and everything that can flood the mind with ideas.

Patel came across posts about women taking silent walks to get away from it all, so she took out her headphones and started walking in silence, only to discover, after a week of walking in silence, “what a relaxing and exciting experience it is,” she said.

Walking in silence lowers blood pressure and heart rate (Pixels)
What is walking in silence?
Walking in silence is an attempt to make the most of your walk around with no distractions, “just you and nature,” as Patel puts it. It is also becoming a growing trend, as a form of moving meditation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety, and feel more relaxed, grounded and alert. “It's a perfect way to take a break from the constant deluge of information from phone calls, emails, social media alerts, earphones, and music playlists,” says Denise Shakoian, certified personal trainer.

Benefits of walking in silence
Very beneficial for mental health; A 2014 University of Michigan study indicated that this type of walking “is a better way to relax after the stress of the day, compared to sitting quietly with our eyes closed.” It also promotes feelings of well-being, provides better sleep, and helps us be more present and focused on the events around us.
It lowers blood pressure and heart rate, also according to the Michigan study.
Relieves pain. After suffering a severe migraine attack, Lisa McCarty noticed a tangible change while walking in silence. “The pain began to dissipate, the nausea began to subside, and the sensitivity to light and sound began to decrease,” McCarty commented, saying, “The silence in my walking was the only thing that helped reduce my stress, worries, and pain and turn off the noise in my head, until I was able to reduce and almost eliminate migraines.” It is no longer a chronic problem every month, and my life has changed for the better.”
It reduces stress, as Dr. Raafat Girgis, a licensed psychiatrist in California, told the American Fox News website: He considers walking in silence “a recipe to block out the noise of the world and a unique meditation that can achieve many benefits in less than 10 minutes”; Participants also learn “how to reduce stress in areas of concern, from work and family to financial stress, and even news of global developments.”

Walking in silence is a perfect way to take a break from the flood of information that is constantly flowing (Pixels)
Improves mood. Girgis also says that walking in silence can improve mood “by combining body movement and exposure to nature, which allows the brain to naturally secrete endorphins, thus removing stress and replacing it with calm thinking, to clear the mind and make our thoughts more organized and positive.” Research has also shown that “connecting with nature reduces the stress hormone (cortisol) and blood pressure, calms our mood, and increases feelings of well-being.”
Promotes mental alertness. Girgis noted that walking in silence “can help enhance mental alertness, by staying away from noise and “develops a sense of awareness and connection with the environment, enhances mental clarity and reduces rumination or negative thoughts,” allowing the mind and body By focusing on the present moment, “while maintaining mindfulness and limiting excessive and repetitive thinking that can cause stress and anxiety.”
How to apply Walking in Silence
Walking in silence has been linked to mindful meditation practices. The American HuffPost website stated that practicing walking meditation “allows a calm and focused mind to become an integral part of your life, whether you are walking in your office, or in the neighborhood where you live after dinner, or from... In order to improve physical fitness.

To practice this walking correctly and achieve the desired benefits from it, Patel says, “Just go for a walk, choose a path, and do not talk to anyone or listen to anything.”

Walking in silence has been linked to mindful meditation practices (Pixels)
As for researchers at the University of Michigan, they emphasize the importance of “breathing deeply and regularly, meditating and being aware of every step and every breath, to achieve conscious walking anywhere.” Whether in nature or with others, in the office between business meetings, or in the supermarket parking lot. This is done by “starting to walk slower than usual for about 5 minutes, focusing your gaze forward to the point towards which your feet are stepping,” noting the sensation when they touch the ground. Until you reach a pace that is comfortable for you. Then “shift your attention from your body, contemplate the world around you, feel the temperature, the direction of the wind, and the change of the ground beneath your feet,” and whenever a thought comes to your mind, “accept it, acknowledge it, and then let it go without dwelling on it”; You can also stop walking whenever you want.

British psychologist, Meg Arroll, says, “Make sure to walk in the morning and do not take a device with you, and notice the sights, smells, and physical sensations while you walk around to silence your mind.”





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