Moment of Silence
A moment of silence.
Perhaps for our nation? For our current leaders or future administration? Perhaps on two close family deaths recently? Perhaps on all the families, worldwide, dealing with COVID-19 related illnesses? Perhaps it’s a prayer to keep all those I know and love safe? Perhaps it’s a bit of gratitude for all I’m thankful for?
Or, maybe, it’s a mixture of all the above or merely just a break from reality?
Truth is, it’s an INCREDIBLY NOISY world right now.
Is silence important?
The answer’s a resounding YES! Silence is critical for your overall mental health.
I’m talking actual ‘clear your head’ and not do anything else with ‘no outside distractions’ kind of silence. Not the ‘sit in a room and read a book or listen to music’ kind (although those are important too).
The kind of silence I’m talking about here is the kind that allows your mind to wander and clear. The kind of silence that promotes thoughts and allows you to dig deep within yourself as you explore the realm of possibility.
We all have the ability, yet not all of us enjoy silence.
Some people are afraid of what they’ll hear. Some are afraid of getting to know the real person at the core. Some people do everything they can to avoid going deep and exploring the real thoughts within.
It’s understandable, but not helpful.
What’s important here is understanding how much good there is in just sitting in silence. Silence can be a wonderful escape and has powerful medicinal benefits if it’s used wisely.
A moment of silence, but intentionally thinking, or being mindful can come in many forms and fashions.
It can happen on a walk by yourself. It can happen wile driving with your windows down and no music playing. It can be in the form of meditating. It might happen while sitting on a beach or laying in a hammock. Maybe sitting by a campfire or a stream or just simply mowing your yard.
What does silence do for you?
Well, wait. Let’s clarify. What type of silence is helpful?
Silence that’s helpful is the kind where you look deep within yourself. Where you think through situations and really get to know yourself. Where you accept your mistakes and learn from them. Where you stop beating yourself up for things and, instead, align your thoughts with ways forward. Where you increase your creativity as you actively create options for scenarios and situations. And, importantly, it’s where you find yourself in the present and dealing with the here and now.
Now, you knew that “noise” affects stress levels, right? Just ask anyone that’s ever been around young children for any length of time. Well, conversely, reducing noises around us should, in turn, actively reduce our stress levels. Not only that, it’s said to also relieve tension and steady our breathing.
Huge plusses! What else?
The inner stillness that comes from this type of silence is said to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to your brain (and this, friends, also stimulates brain growth).
Makes sense, right?
Not only that, it restores your cognitive resources and allows you to increase your focus on whatever it is that’s leading the change of the silence. And, sure, silence can be deafening, but that’s where our brains are put to the test and often come up with their best work. Silence allows space for connections to be made and for bridges to be built.
Sometimes, silence can even help direct us to paths that we need to take as we recognize our own gaps of information – this is extremely helpful as well as many times we don’t have the right answer in our heads, but we know we have to do something. This type of “something” is merely looking up information or being resourceful in some way to help us make better decisions.
And, really, this isn’t the type of silence that comes from when someone doesn’t want to talk to you – the “silent treatment”, if you will. Nor is is you remaining silent when you’re not sure of what to say (Abe Lincoln has a famous quote on this: “it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”). It’s silence where you block out all other noises and really get into your own zone.
Silence, in and of itself, is one of our greatest assets, but we have to learn to use it wisely. Don’t be afraid to sit and just simply ‘unwind’ on a daily basis with nothing else going on around you. No phone. No TV. No social media. No radio. No talking. Just you and your thoughts. Deafening, for sure, but powerful and important.
I’ll end with a final original thought:
Turn down the noises around you and just listen to what all turns up!
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