Silence is golden. And in our loud, frenetic world, finding calm and silence is almost as valuable as gold! But silence and calm isn’t just a “like to have” — it’s actually a mental and physical necessity. The trouble is, getting some peace and quiet is getting harder.
Most of us live in a loud world filled with constant distractions — silence is in increasingly short supply and this barrage of noise and pandemonium is directly impacting our overall health:
In fact, too much noise can be so harmful to life, that the World Health Organization declared that noise pollution is a modern plague, concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”
“Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psycho physiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behavior.”
If we’re not assaulting our ears with music, TV, radio, or iPods, we’re subjected to the deafening noise in the world around us. Surfing the web for hours on end isn’t helping either, because believe it or not, that too is a form of distracting “noise.”
How much time each day do you spend in total relative silence? Probably not much.
As the din in our respective external and internal environments become louder and louder, more of us long for some simple peace and quiet — and that is why these days, silence really is golden.
Here are 7 proven reasons why silence is good for our mental and physical health:
From Psychology Today:
1. Silence has been found to stimulate brain growth: In 2013 A study into brain structure and function found that a minimum of 2 hours of silence could result in the creation of new brain cells in the area of our brains linked to learning and recall.
2. Noise affects our stress levels – raising cortisol and adrenaline. A study in the journal Heart in 2006 found silence can relieve tension in just two minutes.
3. Silence is more “relaxing” for your body and brain than listening to music – measured by a lowering of blood pressure and an increased blood flow to the brain.
4. Periods of silence throughout the day enhance sleep and lessen insomnia. We have all heard advice about “winding down” before bed but few of us apply it to ourselves.
5. Research throughout the 20th century has linked noise pollution to an increase in heart disease and tinnitus. The World Health Organization likened it to a “modern plague.”
6. You will find yourself able to focus better. This seems pretty obvious but how many of us try to finish a report surrounded by noise and/or colleagues and how many youngsters insist on listening to music whilst studying? Numerous studies prove that this is unhelpful.
7. Lowering sensory input helps us to restore our cognitive resources. We stop feeling overwhelmed. We can then tap into our creativity and we can daydream, fantasize and meditate. When we allow ourselves this quiet reflective time we find that, as Herman Melville wrote, “All profound things and emotion of things are proceeded and attended by silence.”
Silence and solitude give us the space to think more clearly, and helps us to play “catch up” with our mind — it’s a proven medical fact that peace and quiet is beneficial for our physical and mental well-being. So this weekend, and going forward, try to find a quiet and peaceful place to recharge your mind and your body.