power of silence

The importance of silence: Here’s how you can practice it

If you want to know how to incorporate the power of silence into your daily life, here are a few ways to practice it for a happier and healthier life.
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The never-ending honking of vehicles, daily conversations at work and home, listening to loud music, YouTube videos, podcasts—we are constantly bombarded with noise every day. Needless to say, it can destabilise your focus at work or home and increase your stress levels. Research indicates that noise is “associated with elevated stress hormones when interacting with mental tasks or other performances that require high concentration or effort.”

That’s why it is of paramount importance to practice silence from time to time. When you are inundated with noise daily, spending some time in silence can help you re-establish inner peace. Silence provides our minds and bodies with much-needed rest from the commotion of daily life. It heals and rejuvenates our inner being. Moreover, silence is also beneficial for the brain. A study suggests that two hours of silence could create new cells in the brain’s hippocampus region, which is connected with memory.

If you want to know how to incorporate the power of silence into your daily life, here are a few ways to practice silence for a happier and healthier life.

Practice mindfulness meditation

From the moment we wake up to going to the bed at night, we experience noise from several sources. We seldom get a moment of quiet, the lack of which tires us emotionally. How do you counter that? The answer may lie in mindfulness meditation, a holistic approach towards establishing inner peace. As the name suggests, this meditation technique aims at creating mindfulness in our lives, irrespective of the activities that we perform. From mindful eating to talking, practising this meditation technique can help you attune to your senses. It not only heals the mind fatigued with sounds and noises, but also establishes inner peace by reducing stress, improving immunity, regulating sleep and improving your focus.

You can start by taking a few minutes off your schedule every day and practice basic mindfulness meditation techniques. Find a spot where you can sit relaxed and stay in a comfortable posture with your back straight. Try to focus on your breathing and develop an awareness of your thoughts and emotions without forcing to change anything. The idea is to remain in the present moment and staying in harmony with your mind and body.

Spend some time offline every day

From smartphones to laptops and music systems, we spend most of our time surrounded by electronic devices. Although technology has become an integral part of our lives, especially in the pandemic-induced remote working culture and virtual classes in schools and colleges, the noise our smart devices generate can be harmful to our wellbeing.

A good way to take a break from our tech-driven lives and harness the power of silence is to set out some time each day to remain offline. You can start with 10-15 minutes each day and increase it depending on your needs. If you feel the urge to reach out to your smartphones, try to use the mindfulness technique mentioned above and calm your mind. Turn off the WiFi for some time every day, so that you can resist spending time online. Cultivate this habit to cut off excess sounds and spend precious time in silence.

Go out in nature

Spending time in nature can help you get in touch with your inner self, eliminate stress and comfort a troubled mind bothered with excess sounds and noises. As much as it is important to spend some time offline, it’s also crucial that you take timely breaks from your hectic schedules and connect with the healing power of nature. You don’t necessarily have to plan long escapades to faraway places. Head out to the nearest park or forest, if any, and spend time in nature. You can create a routine where you dedicate some time—at least 15-30 minutes every day—where you surround yourself with green spaces.

You can either wake up early in the morning before starting your daily routine or in the evening after finishing your day. Do not browse through your smartphones while spending time in nature. Just be with yourself, and replace the noises of everyday life with the comforting and melodious sounds of birds chirping and fluttering leaves. This way, you can harness the power of silence.

Workout sans music

Exercise is essential if we want to remain fit, especially amid the pandemic that has resulted in a sedentary lifestyle. However, if you want to cut down on excess noise, it’s better to exercise unplugged. When you eliminate the auditory distractions while exercising, tapping into the power of silence becomes easy, and you become more mindful of how you utilise each part of your body during the process.

Exercising while listening to music may seem important to many, as that may help them navigate the physical strain. However, when you are already encumbered with so many sounds every day, it is beneficial to mindfully exercise sans music to calm your mind and achieve better focus. Just like mindfulness meditation, this process will take time but it has the potential to help you develop self-awareness and remove distractions while working out.

Talk less, listen more

We spend a lot of time talking every day—either online or offline. Oftentimes, we don’t even pay attention to our thoughts and speak without weighing in our words carefully. But how often do we stay silent and just listen? By choosing to stay silent, we not only eliminate the chances of blabbering needlessly but also distance ourselves from the noisy clamour of everyday life. While certain conversations at work and home are a necessity, we can still choose to remain mindful of how and when we should speak.

You can do that by being mindful of your thoughts and the value they hold. Do not speak for the sake of speaking, but because your speech has some value to add to a conversation. Allow yourself to listen carefully to others and respond appropriately. Cultivate silence and turn your focus inwards. By choosing to remain silent, you may even gain valuable information and perspectives on your thoughts that will help you become a conscious speaker.

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