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Walking Towards Inner Peace: Transformative Power of Silent Walking

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Walking Towards Inner Peace: Transformative Power of Silent Walking

In this captivating episode of Women’s Mental Health Podcast,  join Randi Owsley, LMSW, and Jessica Bullwinkle, LMFT, as they guide you through the profound benefits of silent walking . Tune in as they share expert insights, explore silent walking techniques, and offer practical coping skills to navigate through the challenges of daily life. Whether you're feeling alone or simply craving a moment of tranquility, this episode is your ultimate guide to discovering the true potential of silent walking.

If you're looking to learn more about silent walking and how it can benefit your mental and emotional well-being, you've come to the right place. In addition we'll also cover the various ways in which silent walking can be used to alleviate stress, increase mental clarity, and manage anxiety. At the end of the day, silent walking is a powerful tool that can help you manage stress and find peace amidst the chaos of everyday life.

Get ready for an exciting lineup of upcoming podcast episodes where we dive deeper into the world of silent walking and its incredible benefits. We will explore essential topics like how to start a silent walking practice, providing actionable steps and guidance for beginners to get started on their journey towards mindfulness and self-discovery. Be prepared to unlock your creative potential as we explore how silent walking can fuel inspiration and boost your artistic endeavors. Join us to uncover the ways in which silent walking can contribute to spiritual growth, self-reflection, and deep relaxation, offering a pathway to inner peace and harmony.

Q: What is silent walking?

A: Silent walking is a mindful practice that involves walking slowly and silently, focusing on your breath and the sensations in your body, promoting relaxation and presence.

Q: How does silent walking benefit my mental health?

A: Silent walking can help reduce stress, anxiety, and improve mental clarity by providing a space for self-reflection, increased mindfulness, and a break from daily distractions.

Q: Can silent walking help with weight loss or physical fitness?

A: While silent walking is not primarily focused on weight loss or physical fitness, it can contribute to overall well-being, stress reduction, and may serve as a gentle form of exercise.

Q: Is silent walking suitable for beginners?

A: Absolutely! Silent walking is accessible to beginners as it does not require any special equipment or prior experience. Start with short sessions and gradually increase duration and intensity.

Q: Are there different techniques for silent walking?

A: Yes, silent walking techniques can vary. You can focus on your breath, observe your surroundings, or incorporate mantras or affirmations. Experiment to find a technique that resonates with you.

Q: Can I practice silent walking alone or in a group?

A: Silent walking can be practiced alone or in a group setting. Both options have their benefits. Solo walks provide solitude and self-reflection, while group walks offer a sense of community and shared experiences.

Q: Are there silent walking retreats or workshops available?

A: Yes, there are silent walking retreats and workshops offered in various locations. These immersive experiences provide guidance, support, and the opportunity to deepen your silent walking practice.

Q: How long should a silent walking session last?

A: The duration of a silent walking session can vary based on personal preference and availability. Starting with 10-15 minutes and gradually increasing to 30 minutes or more can be a good approach.

Q: Can I practice silent walking indoors?

A: Yes, silent walking can be practiced indoors if you have enough space available. Choose a quiet area or create a designated walking path indoors for your practice.

Q: How often should I practice silent walking?

A: The frequency of silent walking practice depends on your schedule and personal preferences. Aim to practice at least a few times a week to experience the benefits consistently. Find a rhythm that works for you.

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Ways to Unwind and Relax

Meditative, Relaxing, Mental Health Coloring books developed by licensed psychotherapists Randi Owsley and Jessica Bullwinkle – Available on Amazon Today!

Transcript

Walking Towards Inner Peace: Transformative Power of Silent Walking

[00:00:00] Randi: Welcome to the Women's Mental Health Podcast with Randi and Jess. We're two licensed psychotherapists where we talk about mental health, well being, and strategies for coping with life's challenges and how it's all normal.

[00:00:11] Jess: You are in the right

[00:00:13] Randi: place. Today's episode invites us to explore a simple yet profound practice, the healing power of silent walking.

We're here to guide you through the mindful journey of silent walking and then tranquility it can bring to your mind and spirit and your overall mental health. Find

[00:00:29] Jess: us and more resources on womensmentalhealthpodcast. com.

[00:00:33] Randi: Have you ever had these thoughts? What

[00:00:36] Jess: exactly is silent walking and how can it improve my mental

[00:00:39] Randi: health?

Can silent walking be done alone or with a group?

[00:00:43] Jess: How long is it supposed to last and how often am I

[00:00:46] Randi: supposed to do it? What are some tips for starting silent walking?

[00:00:50] Jess: Are there any safety concerns that I should be aware of when practicing silent walking? Can

[00:00:54] Randi: it be a helpful tool for managing anxiety and depression?

[00:00:58] Jess: how can I incorporate silent walking into my daily routine when I already have a busy schedule?

[00:01:02] Randi: Is silent walking a form of exercise or a form of mental health?

[00:01:07] Jess: Can practicing silent walking improve my sleep quality?

[00:01:10] Randi: Do I need any special training or equipment to practice silent walking?

[00:01:15] Jess: Um, what happens if I get bored? Like, Can my ADHD handle silent walking?

I'm not real sure.

[00:01:21] Randi: Yes. So let's begin by understanding what silent walking is and why it is so popular right now in terms of mental wellness and mental health.

[00:01:38] Jess: so silent walking is about really immersing yourself in the present moment as you walk,

[00:01:44] Randi: and it's recently taking on a whole kind of viral trend right now on TikTok, where this one TikToker, her name is Maddie Mayo. She was talking about how she was challenged to take a walk with no distractions, no AirPods, like no dog, no talking on the phone and really spend 30 minutes walking and being with herself.

And this is something that's not new. Like I have practiced walk and talk therapy. I've talked about it before on the podcast, but it's People are really responding to this right now.

[00:02:23] Jess: I can see why, because I just watched my daughter last night flip the load of laundry while she was watching YouTube.

I was like, wait, you can't flip the laundry without having your phone on and literally watching it with an AirPod. And flipping the laundry at the same time. It took her forever.

[00:02:39] Randi: And I feel like we're always multitasking. And so we're never really alone with our thoughts. We're never truly pausing.

We're never truly in silence. And that is somewhat of a trauma response, being fearful of silence. And

[00:02:57] Jess: being so busy, ? Because when do our thoughts pop up when we're laying in bed at night trying to sleep is when they just all of a sudden go, Oh, hey, let's think about all this stuff. So I want to know, like, how are we supposed to embrace this?

 I know it's this mindfulness, but how are we supposed to embrace it? And how does it differ from regular walking? So

[00:03:19] Randi: it really involves. Moving and planning to do this walk with intention and mindfulness, you're fully engaging your senses, you're being aware of yourself and your surroundings, you're not talking on the phone, like I said, you're not texting, you're not listening to music, you're not trying to make your dog heel and follow you or pick up their poop or whatever it is, or trying to not trip over them.

Right. That's me not trying to trip over your dog. So you are grounding yourself in that moment. You are taking that time to hear yourself and be alone with yourself. And like she talks about in her tech talk too, is that at the first few minutes she's very antsy and anxious because all of a sudden she's like, Oh my gosh, like all these thoughts are hitting me and I'm thinking all these things.

And then, all of a sudden, When she is walking and going through the motion and being with herself, she starts to hear herself, her inner voice, her ideas, her creativity. She starts untangling ideas that she has or problems that are happening in her life because she's giving herself a moment to pause and reflect.

Jessica just had an aha moment. Oh

[00:04:35] Jess: Oh. This is like when you take a shower, the shower thought. Yes, shower thought. Because you're sitting there, you're taking a shower. It's something we do every day, sort of. and you know, some of us don't know as much as others but like that is when your mind just goes blank and all of these amazing thoughts come to you and all of these like aha moments or that's when I'm like, Oh, that's how I can do it because I'm not focusing on anything.

I'm just doing something that

[00:05:04] Randi: you're in the moment and it's repetitive. Yeah. So it's like somatic psychology. So you're doing a repetitive thing that's calming and soothing. So you're able to get in touch with yourself and your center. That

[00:05:18] Jess: makes really, that makes really a lot of sense.

That makes a lot of sense. That's like the somatic breathing we did a couple months ago and how that really, you're just focusing and you're so in the moment that it releases

[00:05:30] Randi: so much. It's just taking an actual pause, but even think like when you're in the shower though, you're still, you have the noise of the water.

You're doing things like you're washing your hair. You're doing this. So you're not. A hundred percent fully engaged. So think if you removed all of that, the noise, the the emotions and things like that, besides just moving your body repetitively in a walk quietly, how many more ideas do you think would probably open up in your mind?

[00:06:00] Jess: that is an interesting concept. I want to go back real quick because mindfulness, that's a word we said a few minutes ago. And I think if you haven't practiced mindfulness, a lot of people don't know what that is. I did mindfulness with my daughter. We were listening to a mindfulness CD. Um, How old do I feel?

It was actually like, it was like something from off

[00:06:20] Randi: Amazon. I have a mindfulness app, so I'm going to, I'm going to be like, I'm hip with the ages. It was an audible. just dated me, so forget that. Don't set out the window.

[00:06:30] Jess: It was an audible. Yeah. And we're laying there and we listened to it every night for like a week or two to help her get to sleep.

And it was things like, can you feel the hair on your head? I don't know about y'all, but I don't sit around going, can I actually feel the hair on my head? And so you really are sitting there going, I don't know, can I feel the hair on my head? And I bet all y'all out there right now are going can I feel the hair on my head?

Not physically feel, but can you actually feel it connected to your scalp, right? And then it just walked you through. So I can see how that would be really cool to just be very, very present and to see what's out there. And then I think it's also important to note that. It is too, like you're out in nature, you're getting some sunshine, you are finding solace in the silent walking and we are immersing ourselves.

[00:07:26] Randi: It's like a grounding experience and that really enhances the benefit of it because like you're taking deep breaths, you're outside, you're moving your body, you're feeling the air on your body. things that we as a society, we're so like go, go, go. And we're in our cubicle working, staring at a screen.

So we're not connecting to the actual world outside sometimes. And this can also help reset us. And like we were talking about, does this help with sleeping? Yes, it does. Because you're resetting your body's internal clock when you're outside and in the sunshine

[00:08:00] Jess: and I know you said nature.

I want to also reinforce that it could be a park, it could be a forest, a beach, it could also be walking down the streets of San Francisco.

[00:08:15] Randi: I mean, You might not want to walk down the streets of San Francisco, that might be a little bit distracting. I'm just going to say, I used to live there, and so it's like, I'm not going to go down that road, but it's not very quiet there in San Francisco.

[00:08:28] Jess: Let's just say that. My brain was somewhere else. Okay, so when we, was it last year or the year before uh, we, we've been here now four years, I think. Four years. We took friends of ours across the street and we did a let's go downtown. And let's take it like a tourist and they're like, wait, what? I was like, let's go experience it like a tourist.

And she was like, what does that mean? I'm like, let's go see what pictures we can take. And so we walked around with our phones and we took all of these really cool pictures. Like even the train station has, you walk in the train station and there's this really cool thing above the train station.

And she's like, I've lived here my entire life and I've never seen that. And then we are taking pictures of everything else. And she's like. I have never seen all this. I said right, because you're not looking at it like a tourist, right? It's really pretty down

[00:09:16] Randi: here. You were taking the time to be present in your own town.

And I even noticed that too. I went to go visit my sister in Florida and. I had never been to her town before. And so I'm like, let's go here and let's do this. And she's like, I've never been here. I've never done this. I've never been this place. And I'm like, what is I said, How am I taking you on a tour of your own town?

You know, And she's like, I'm just so busy, like with the kids and with my marriage and with work. And so I don't ever take the time to do this. And that's the thing. We don't take the time to connect with ourselves. And that's why silent walking is so important, because it gives us time to have that reflection.

It gives us time to understand ourselves or go on a journey with ourselves. And I think it's really important to integrate something like this into your self care if you are Especially feeling like a drift from your own self.

[00:10:12] Jess: Mm hmm. a couple years ago I know I've talked about it before in previous podcasts, but I did this experiment.

Okay, it was probably more like 10 years ago I did this experiment because I got a new DSLR camera and that's whenever it was doing like a photo a day for a month. Oh yeah. And I did it for a year because I wanted to take better pictures. So I made the commitment to myself and I noticed like at first it was super duper hard and then what I noticed, like I was having a hard time finding anything cool.

My pictures really sucked. Then it becomes

a habit. And on top of that I was sitting in traffic and it was beautiful. I was sitting there and the worst moment raining had to pee and it was like this beautiful double rainbow. And like from that moment on, I saw everything different because I was looking for it through like the lens of a photo.

Right. And so my pictures, because I printed them out, they got Significantly better.

[00:11:09] Randi: Because you changed your

[00:11:10] Jess: perspective. I changed it. And a lot of what I did was in nature, paying attention to what was around me, even in the city. So yeah I could totally get behind this. I could see how like, reflecting on your journey and the self discovery piece.

 But how can others integrate this into their self care routine?

[00:11:30] Randi: So I think Integrating it into your self care routine is so important because when you develop a deeper connection with yourself, you are able to nurture other relationships in your life and make those relationships deeper, whether that's with your spouse, your partner, your friends, or your children.

And so it can have such… a beneficial thing. But like we've talked about in the, before with making goals and like trying to achieve some of this stuff, you need to schedule it. You need to schedule time with yourself.

[00:12:03] Jess: Yeah. It is really about giving yourself the gift of self compassion.

And that is something we don't do as women is we don't care for ourselves enough. And which is why we're

[00:12:14] Randi: always preaching. We're very harsh on ourselves. We're very mean to ourselves. We say horrible things to ourselves that we would never say to anybody

[00:12:22] Jess: else. Or out loud, unless you're online and you're a troll.

Right. , , there's got to be a way that we can foster a kinder relationship with ourselves,

[00:12:31] Randi: right? And I think it starts with being intentional with making time for yourself and hearing yourself because we hear the outside world.

We hear social media, we hear friends, we hear partners, we hear family. But what? What are you really wanting? What do you really need? Who are you really? And what can you do to fulfill that? And if we don't ever pause and breathe or walk silently, how are we ever going to fully know ourselves? And be able to achieve the things that we want.

I feel a lot of times we block ourselves from good things in our life because we're just so caught up in the rat race or trying to achieve things for somebody else to look at us that we're not really turning inwards and giving ourselves time and the benefit of the doubt to like discover who we are and all the benefits that we could be giving the world around us.

[00:13:32] Jess: I think a lot of women, they feel like if they were to practice self compassion, that they're going to actually sit there and beat themselves up. Or

[00:13:41] Randi: fall apart because they're just stopping and pausing. Oh,

[00:13:45] Jess: yeah. Like Once you sit down, you're never getting back up.

Right. I sit down. I ain't getting back up. Right. I'm toast. That's it. But if we can learn to embrace our imperfections, we are not perfect. Perfect doesn't exist. There is no perfect. You cannot be perfect. It just can't happen.

[00:14:02] Randi: There is no perfect. There is no bar that you need to achieve.

And when we can cultivate This kindness and self compassion for ourselves, this will have a ripple effect into all other areas of our life, work, friendships, like we said, and your overall mental well being.

[00:14:25] Jess: Let go of those judgments. Because I know a lot of people are like, I don't want to walk by myself unless I have something to do because I'm going to feel weird.

Or like, I hear women going, yeah, I'm not going to start running because I look funny. I'm like,

[00:14:39] Randi: who cares? Yeah, and who's really staring at you running like that you think in your head? It's like, I mean, I've said those things to myself before, too you know, and I used to be afraid to go anywhere by myself when I was younger.

Like, I had a really big fear over it, and now I realize I like being alone, and I like doing things by myself, and I like myself, and when you do pause, you have these questions. Great interactions with these cells and these great ideas and these bursts of creativity. The TikToker was talking about, like she comes up with all these great ideas for her business that are helping her succeed and achieve things that she would have never achieved before.

Had she not paused to take that time with herself. And

[00:15:22] Jess: I really, Randy, I like how you said, I like myself that right there it would for women to be able to say, I like myself. And just own who they are. I think that is a beautiful thing. It really, really is. I wish more women, people, loved themselves and liked themselves for good, bad, indifferent, whatever it is that they just accept who they are.

[00:15:50] Randi: And I think everybody who's listening right now should just pause and say, I like myself. I love myself. I am worthy.

[00:15:58] Jess: Oh, I like myself. I love myself. I am worthy.

[00:16:03] Randi: It makes me want to cry because I feel like I have not heard a lot of women ever say that about themselves. To themselves or you know, it, I just think that we do not care about ourselves like we

[00:16:19] Jess: should.

And we don't teach our kids. I'm sitting here going, I don't know if I've ever said those three words besides the, I am worthy. I don't know if I've actually said, I like myself. I love myself. And I am worthy in front of my child. Where do we learn all of this? We learn it from our parents. We model what we see.

So let's model for them. I love myself. I like myself. I'm going to keep saying it over and over. Just

[00:16:47] Randi: say it to yourself once a day and watch how it transform your mindset.

[00:16:53] Jess: Like when you wash your hands or when you're starting the

[00:16:56] Randi: car, yeah, whatever it is, when you're taking a silent walk.

[00:17:01] Jess: So how can we take this mindfulness? . In this silent walking, and how is it going to ripple into other areas of our lives, right? How are we going to make these good decisions and increase our well being, our emotional health?

[00:17:16] Randi: Just by stepping into it. Oh,

[00:17:19] Jess: I love that. Just step into it. Just

[00:17:21] Randi: step into it.

Literally. Just step. Open up your door. And step into it. And step into it. If it's only 15 minutes, if it's 30 minutes, if it's 10 minutes, whatever you have give it to yourself right now. Drop everything else. Step into it. Walk out that door and give yourself a few minutes of your time. I

[00:17:42] Jess: like that.

And you don't have to go far, you don't have to get in the car and do a big drive to the beach. No,

[00:17:47] Randi: it doesn't need to be like the most beautiful setting in the world,

[00:17:51] Jess: it just needs to be you and your thoughts in a nice, safe place, but outside, out in nature.

[00:17:58] Randi: Don't come up with excuses. I have the worst allergies in the world.

I should live in a bubble. I'm still gonna put my ass outside to walk because I realize that it's good for me and it helps my mental health. And think of it as a way that you are gifting

[00:18:13] Jess: yourself. Yes, I was just thinking that. Yeah. Gifting yourself your time and how important you are for this. Wow. But my ADHD, Randi, says I want to go walk with you.

Okay. I'm like, let's go walk together in silence. Yes.

[00:18:28] Randi: I don't think that's going to work. You're not supposed to walk with friends, but if that's all you got, go with it. I don't know, Jess and I aren't very good at being silent together. No, we're not. But just give yourself the gift of yourself and some time.

And thank you for being part of the Women's Mental Health Podcast. .

[00:18:47] Jess: As we conclude today's episode, remember that the healing power of silent walking is just a step away. Like Randy said, just step into it. So we really want to invite you to try silent walking and see how you like

[00:19:01] Randi: this.

And if you found this episode valuable, don't forget to subscribe, share, and leave us a review. And share it with a friend who you feel might need this too, or a family member. Stay tuned for our next episode, where we're going to continue to address topics that empower your mental health journey.

[00:19:18] Jess: And until next time, take care and be kind to yourself.

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