Noise is, indeed, a part of modern life. If you live in the city, it can be particularly difficult to find moments of quiet. Even at night, noise can still be present, depriving us of much-needed rest.
Studies have proven that environmental noise can increase stress levels, leading to anxiety, depression, and fatigue not just in humans but also in animals. Physically, it is linked to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment in children. Too much noise makes people unhappy, making them turn to sleeping pills and antidepressants.
All of this simply shows that it is crucial for all of us to find ways to get away from all the noise. Silence is essential to our health and well-being as it has been proven to relieve stress and provide clarity. Let us then explore ways to cultivate silence so we can enjoy its power.
Find moments of quiet and calm in your day
Here are some suggestions on how to embrace silence and solitude in your life.
Morning meditation. If you don’t have a lot of time, five to ten minutes of sitting in silence are enough to make a difference. Focus on the breath and gently release thoughts that clutter your mind. Another way is to do a bit of yoga or qigong or write in your journal. Others are content with simply sitting in silence and setting an intention for the day, or giving thanks in silence for blessings.
Mindfulness. Pay attention to your surroundings, your sensations and feelings, thoughts and actions. Observe each moment and stay present in the now every chance you get. This brings a special kind of calmness to the heart and body, mind and soul.
Schedule a regular detox. Digital detox, that is. This is beneficial especially if you are working heavily with gadgets like laptops, cellphones, the Internet, TV, computers, and so on. One day a week would give you the chance to recalibrate and enjoy some inner silence.
Time-outs. During busy days, take little breaks throughout the day to clear your mind and relax the body. Sit down, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Some people do it every three hours or whenever they remember. Others sit down when feeling overwhelmed. It’s like a mini vacation in the midst of a hectic time.
Get out in nature. Take a walk in the park or spend some time reading, exercising, or writing in your garden. This is a very relaxing activity, not to mention healthy because you don’t only enjoy the silence, but you also get to reap the healing benefits of fresh air and sunshine.
Evening routine. In the same way that we start our day with morning meditation, we can also end our day with a quiet and calming routine. Set aside a few minutes before bed for prayers, reflection, or contemplation. Avoid the television or the Internet. You can also listen to some calming music, say your thanks for the blessings you received during the day, write about the things that happened, or perform some relaxing asana.