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Silence is Golden

From the moment our eyes open, we are inundated with distractions. It is mind-boggling how many conversations and multi-tasking we are engaged in at one time, especially these days where we have multiple forms of connectivity as our lifelines. Moreover, we are a culture of getting the jobs done, and productivity is what equals success. Thinking about the word silence can provoke some fear and anxiety for some, equating it with being alone or lonely, while for others, it is a welcomed change or gift. In the English dictionary, “silence is the absence of sound”. It is also synonymous with quiet, stillness and tranquillity. These are the characteristics of silence that I am referring to. Either you are an introvert who is better adapted to appreciate silence due to your nature or an extrovert who may find it uncomfortable, we will all crave silence at some point, coming easier for some. Many studies are exploring the numerous health benefits of silence. Silence can have a profound healing and transformative effect on our overall health. Read on to learn a few that remain overlooked and that offer great benefits.

The most apparent way silence can help us is by creating some space from all the distractions. That time and space away can relax, calm and heal you on a physical and mental level. Silence offers time for self-reflection and even daydreaming, activating many parts of the brain. As the external noise turns down and inner awareness increases, we reflect, recognize and appreciate what matters most. Spending even a short amount of time in your day in silence can improve cognitive function. According to studies with silence, there are lower levels of sensory inputs. When the brain has a moment to relax, its cognitive function of constant focus can later perform even better. When your body can settle and be still from the accustomed fast-paced lifestyle, it can tap into a different part of our nervous system, the parasympathetic, which regulates our rest and digest response. This is so important because it controls the process of digestion, respiration, and heart rate. It also conserves energy by bringing bodily functions back to homeostasis, considering it works in concert with the sympathetic nervous system, activated most of the time in a fight or flight response. Unfortunately, when we are frazzled, anxious and overwhelmed our fight and flight response is overloading us and instigating issues on all physiological levels. Taking some time for silence, meaning finding a quiet space to unplug, can let your body relax and release physical tension while reducing fatigue.

When you have time for silence, you can delve deeper into our needs and feelings. It can help foster our ability for more profound thoughts, let the creativity flow without interruptions and promote stronger relationships, starting with ourselves. In these instances, we can sometimes receive resolutions and clarity to some of our daily issues. Self-awareness boosts our emotional intelligence and helps us identify where we can make changes.

Silence does not have to be an elaborate or formal process of locking yourself away from the world around you. Taking a moment to cultivate silence from our hectic life can be staying in bed for five extra minutes with no devices, enjoying your coffee without a device or paper in your hand, taking a walk alone in nature or turning off the radio in the car. Over time you will find it easier to incorporate these moments. You may even desire them after feeling the effects it has on you and your well-being.

Do you make time for some quiet each day? How do you create this space?

Listen to silence. It has so much to say. Rumi


Rachel xo

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