Making time for peace and quiet
“Silence is a source of great strength.”
– Lao Tzu
Sometimes we just need to find a few moments to step away from the chaos and distractions that can flare up in our busy lives. Especially in today's world where various people and electronic devices clamor for our attention from morning until night, peace and quiet can be a priceless commodity. Finding the time to bathe in undisturbed silence can be tough too. We miss out on the many benefits of spending time in silence if we don't allow ourselves to make time for this simple practice.
Besides stimulating brain growth and helping us to focus better, silence can also help us to get better sleep and prevent insomnia. Quiet time can also help us to lower our heart rate and blood pressure while reducing muscle tension. On top of that, silence can help increase our creativity and improve our memory and communication skills. There are so many benefits to quiet time, I find myself wondering why I don't carve out more time every day to simply listen to nothing. If only for a few minutes here and there, to just be.
While meditation might be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about peace and quiet, there are so many other ways to get it done. Sometimes all it takes is eliminating distractions from certain routines we already practice, like a morning cup of coffee or a walk in the park. While I enjoy listening to music when I go for a run, I also like to ditch the ear buds some days and take in the subtle whispers of nature. Even folding laundry and cleaning around the house has become a silent retreat for me to reflect and recharge my brain. Silence is also a great way to practice mindfulness by immersing ourselves in the present.
We do not have to become Tibetan monks in order to reap the benefits of peace and quiet. However, we do need to be able to eliminate the distractions in order to create an environment where we can turn down the volume on life and just be. When was the last time you were able to just be with no noise or sound in the background? It can be a wonderful treat that becomes a regular habit when we experience the rewards of time in silence. But sometimes we have to make the time and put the chaos and distractions on pause so we can improve our overall health and well being through peace and quiet. Go ahead, take a few minutes to yourself.
PsychCentral: The Hidden Benefits of Silence
Psychology Today: 10 Reasons Why Silence Really Is Golden
Just Between US: 20 Quiet Time Tips