We tend to live our lives to the beat of background noise: podcasts, music, books on tape, TV, etc. Everything we do from showering to driving is accompanied by some type of self-chosen noise.
Silence is hard to come by may even bee an uncomfortable and unwelcome void. Noise pollution, however, has been correlated with heart disease and sleep loss. So, are we expected to live a life of silence for our health?
Researchers have found that the most benefit of silence is gained when given in contrast to noise. For example, a period of silence between listening to songs. Extending this period of silence can find our bodies in a deeper relaxation than is gained from “relaxing”music. Additionally, when relaxing/meditating in quiet, our brains tend to think about the future, day-dream, and wander. During this type of brain activity, we are able to think creatively and deeply promoting outside-the-box thinking.
If the above reasons are not enough to convince you to embrace silence as part of your day, consider that two silent hours have been shown to stimulate brain growth, people who meditate regularly lose less grey matter (an important element of the central nervous system) than those who do not, and incorporating silent periods into your day can improve sleep, increases focus, help us feel less overwhelmed.
To take advantage of the benefits silence can give you, try taking your shower or bath without the assistance of a podcast or music. Turn off the radio or Bluetooth on your commute. Lay in bed without the help of TV or a book. For added mental wellness, take a few deep breaths at these times and relax the muscles you did not know you were clenching. Find small ways and convenient times to silence the noise and get back in touch with your thoughts.
Heart and Solutions can help you on your silent journey through our three services: mental health therapy, behavioral health intervention services (BHIS), and marriage and family therapy. Through these three avenues, we can help you incorporate this coping skill into your busy and noisy life, understand how noise is affecting your body and mind, and identify the benefits you can gain from a quieter life.
Beaumont, A. (4/21/2017). 10 reasons why silence really is golden. Pyschology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/handy-hints-humans/201704/10-reasons-why-silence-really-is-golden
Lachs, J. (10/22/2016). Why silence is good for your brain. https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/silence-good-brain/