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The Power of Spending Time in Silence

Sporty & Rich Wellness - The Power of Spending Time in Silence

@emily_campbell

In today’s age, even if you don’t live in a hustling and bustling city, you may still experience constant noise. We have become so accustomed to noise everywhere we go, including our homes. Without knowing it, you may prefer “background noise” to block out any unwanted thoughts or feelings that pop up. So even if you are putting on music, a podcast, or the television for a specific purpose and to better yourself, have you ever stopped to think about what it would be like to choose silence instead? While meditation practices are important, cultivating moments of silence outside of this can be extremely beneficial.

Improved Brain Health 

Being in silence has been shown to stimulate new brain cells in the hippocampus, the memory centre of the brain. It also aids in emotional regulation and our ability to learn new things.  By strengthening this part of our brain, we can then receive and process information more efficiently, including highly emotional or stressful situations. By becoming more aware of what is happening and processing it fully, there is a higher chance of being able to let it go and move on. Building this emotional balance is extremely helpful for moving through life with resilience and optimism. Silence allows for the brain to rest, reflect and to release stuck stimuli to make room for new ones. 

Silence is also very helpful for improving concentration. So if you need to focus on work, try to avoid any background noise or music and instead, let your brain put all its attention on the task at hand. When you are in conversation with someone else, silence may be helpful in allowing you to truly listen to what they are saying. 

Silence Allows for Mindfulness and Self-Awareness 

Mindfulness is an amazing practice that everyone should implement into their lives, and mindfulness is effortlessly heightened when in silence. By removing auditory stimuli, we can become very present on what is happening around us, as well as what is happening within. It allows us to truly notice the thoughts arising in our minds, and to become the witness, acknowledging them and removing all judgment. Self-awareness is a practice that takes time. By becoming aware of our patterns and habits, we can then self-reflect, and choose to keep the ones that serve us and let go of the ones that are holding us back, with non-judgment and compassion for those parts. 

Lowered Stress Levels

In the health and wellness world, we are bombarded with information and ideas on what to do when stressed or anxious. However, instead of reaching for a guided meditation, inspirational podcast, or calming song, try instead to just be in silence. Studies have shown that two minutes of silence is more calming than relaxing music, and results in lowered blood pressure and increased flow of oxygen to the brain. By being still, in silence, we tune into our true nature, and the mind-body-spirit connection is strengthened.

Improved Creativity

It is our human nature to be creative but often we are too busy for moments of inspiration. When we reduce auditory input, it allows us to get even more present and aware of what is happening around us. Also, by quieting the mind and being in stillness, we are naturally more calm and relaxed which puts us into a zone of inspiration. This can cause the mind to daydream and wonder or it may even prompt our minds to have spontaneous ideas, realizations, insight, or even find the answer to a problem that has been troubling us. 

Ways to Add More Silence

Adding moments of silence into your day can immensely help to improve our overall well-being. It may even be the missing piece to your wellness routine. Try starting the morning in silence, being very mindful and aware while having your morning beverage. Then try meditating in silence, focusing on the breath. Go for a walk in nature and resist the urge to put on music or podcasts, but instead embrace the silence and become more connected to your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable, experience negative or even positive emotions, try just sitting with them in stillness. 

Silence allows us to simply be, and to find a home in ourselves. 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1860846/

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2110998

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259110014_Is_silence_golden_Effects_of_auditory_stimuli_and_their_absence_on_adult_hippocampal_neurogenesis

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