These days, silence is worth it’s weight in gold. People, it seems, can’t seem to escape the maddening din of modern life. From non-stop emails, to the ever-present “smart” phone and the barrage of bogus telemarketing calls, people are stressed to their limit.
Some folks don’t care for silence because they feel it’s too lonely, but they’re probably in the minority at this point. For most of us, getting some quiet down time is pure pleasure and joy.
As the scientific and medical communities will tell you, the benefits of silence are many.
Psych Central reports that:
Silence is good for overall physical health and well-being
Besides giving our ears a break, silence has been shown to offer significant health advantages that boost overall well-being. From a physiological standpoint, silence helps:
- Lower blood pressure, which can help prevent heart attack.
- Boost the body’s immune system.
- Benefit brain chemistry by growing new cells. A 2013 study found that two hours of silence could create new cells in the hippocampus region, a brain area linked to learning, remembering, and emotions.
- Decrease stress by lowering blood cortisol levels and adrenaline. Furthermore, according to a 2006 study in Heart, two minutes of silence relieves tension in the body and brain and is more relaxing than listening to music. This was attributed to changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.
- Promote good hormone regulation and the interaction of bodily hormone-relate systems.
- Prevent plaque formation in arteries.
We live in a notoriously loud, distracting world and it’s long ago been proven that excessive noise is negatively affecting our health — and this noise doesn’t even have to be actual sounds, because today we have that constant presence of “smart” phones, tablets, email and other electronic clatter which also causes noise of a different type.
All this noise, both literal and figurative, is dangerous to our mental and physical health and people crave some solitude to rejuvenate their mind and body.
How does “silence” equate to a life of peace, love, compassion and positivity?
The answer is simple: in order to protect our mind and body, we must have times of tranquility. Tranquility (serenity), allows us to maintain a deeper connection with our inner-power — that place in each of us where creativity, confidence, motivation, hope and faith reside. Due to the manic world we’ve built for ourselves, this inner sanctum is often the most difficult to connect with.
Fortunately, there are many ways to experience true silence and here are just a few:
True silence doesn’t mean putting in our earbuds and listening to music. True silence means tuning out artificial noises (man-made noises) and letting the peace wash over us. Once we start to feel relaxed, we can focus on clearing out the clutter in our mind by going over what we’re dwelling on, but haven’t had the time to really focus on.
1. Determine where your quite place is. The woods? Your local Library? A room in your house? Try to have a set space to have your quite time and if possible, schedule it with yourself. If you can’t always enjoy your alone space at a set time, make sure to work it into your schedule when ever possible.
2. Turn off your gadgets. The internet is a big cause of the chaos today, so surfing social media probably isn’t a good idea…nor is answering a cell phone or emails.
3. Writing out all the things that are bothering you. Create a list of those nagging issues you keep bundled up and work through them — are they important enough to keep thinking about, or can you cross them off and move on?
4. Read a good book! People don’t read anymore and that is to our detriment. And by read, I mean an actual paper book. Leave all electronic gadgets out of your quiet space and open an actual book.
5. Write poetry. So, maybe you’re not a poet. Who cares? Tyr it — for some reason, writing poetry can be quite relaxing.
6. Paint. Don’t think you have talent? Again, who cares? Painting is a great hobby and it can get you out into the wilds of nature, which is the perfect place to re-energize.
7. Take hot baths. Many people are turning their bathrooms into mini at-home spas — even if you don’t want to do that, a simple hot bath can really relax us and once we’re in that quite zone and able to unwind, we’re in a much better position to think clearly.
8. Pray or meditate. For this, I personally find a quiet room that is not too hot and not too cold and isn’t too dark, nor too bright, is best.
9. Talk to yourself. What? Talking to yourself really isn’t that odd. Consider actually talking to yourself out loud…but in a quiet voice. Some people have better success actually verbalizing what they’re thinking, so if that works for you in your quiet space, go for it.
10. Listen to soft, soothing music. I know, this contradicts “quiet” and “turn off your gadgets,” but the truth is, some people find listening to pleasant, quite music to be very relaxing.
Where you choose for your silent retreat time is entirely personal, as is how you spend that time. The more important thing is to make sure you do make time for yourself and that the time is spent decompressing and letting the stress flow out of you.
“True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit. What sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” – William Penn