The Power of Silence
When was the last time you experienced uninterrupted silence?
We live in a world of sound, and our ease of access to technology has created an expectation that we should always be listening to something. Whether it’s that favorite playlist during a workout, the morning news over breakfast, or the midday phone calls made in between appointments, it often seems that we never stop listening.
But experiencing silence can benefit both our emotional and physical well-being. Silence promotes development in the hippocampus, the region of the brain linked to memory and the senses, and giving ourselves a quiet space in which to process thoughts and emotions can significantly ease stress and anxiety. This article explains why silence is important, citing scientific evidence to prove it.
Silence is also the gateway to meditation. Being quiet allows us to tune in—both aurally and emotionally—to our surroundings. Every time we become quiet, we step into meditation.
You may also notice the affect that silence has on those around you. When you meet the anger or sadness of others with a moment of silence (before eventually responding) it is difficult for those who are angry at you to maintain their high level of emotion. Silence and patience can diffuse situations instead of feeding the flames of conflict.
So the next time you reach for your headphones, the TV remote, or the volume knob, pause. Ask yourself: do I really want to hear something right now, or am I doing this out of habit? Consider taking a moment of your day to cultivate intentional silence, whether it’s five minutes or fifty. Afterwards, you can enter back into the world of sound with a renewed sense of ease and awareness.
by Kelsey Leach