Shakespeare wrote: “It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Paul Simon wrote: “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence.”
Thomas Carlyle wrote: “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.”
We, as a society, have forgotten silence. Humans need silence to recharge our minds, reconnect with our intuition, and hone our creativity. Stillness reduces stress.
Studies suggest that chronic noise increases the body’s production of cortisol, also known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormone. Elevated levels of cortisol can cause high blood pressure and heart disease, possibly increase abdominal fat, and impairs mental performance.
When was the last time you sat without music, without your computer humming, without TV, without speaking?
- Try your morning routines without the radio or TV. Save the weather and traffic reports for later. Morning is when cortisol levels are highest, so silence when you first wake up helps start the day right.
- Play music only when giving it your full attention. Don’t use the radio as background noise while you cook, clean, or putter around your house.
- Turn off the TV if you’re not watching.
- Walk. Leave your mp3 player at home. Observe what is going on around you.
- Eat in silence. Focus on the flavors, textures, and colors of your meal. You may find yourself eating less while increasing your enjoyment.
- Silence breaks, especially if you work in a noisy environment. Even if you have to sit in your car for 10 minutes, try to find a place where you can be quiet and absorb the silence around you.
- Silence your technology. Periodically turn off the ‘bells & whistles’ on your gadgets as a reprieve.
Listen to the silence.