“Listen to silence. It has so much to say.” – Rumi
We live in a noisy, demanding world. The constant buzz of people, media, transport and technology surrounds us. While exciting, this can easily cause sensory overload and disrupt our mental and physical balance.
A wonderful way to equilibrate is through silence. Silence gives us space to retreat from the noise and listen inwardly. Quiet pauses help us to reflect, attune to ourselves and connect to the present moment.
Yet silence isn’t always comfortable. It can be challenging to face our inner landscape, and we often fill the space with an activity, conversation or music instead. But if we can learn to connect with silence, its benefits are huge.
The benefits of silence
· Relieves stress and tension
Silence can lower cortisol and adrenaline levels, as well as blood pressure. This helps to regulate our nervous systems and promote relaxation.
· Benefits the brain
Periods of silence are proven to stimulate brain growth. Research has shown that two hours of silence can create new cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain linked to learning and emotions.
· Improves concentration
Silence enhances our focus on tasks that require concentration. This enables us to be more efficient and tranquil while working.
· Enhances memory
Silence has been shown to boost memory. One study found that 10 minutes of silence in a darkened room enhanced participants’ memory recall from between 10-49%.
· Boosts self-awareness
Being in silence puts us in touch with how we feel and think. This helps us to connect with our inner wisdom, make clear decisions and live more mindfully.
Connecting with silence
If silence seems daunting, start small. Try practising one to two minutes of silence per day, and slowly increase over time. This could be a quiet pause to collect your thoughts. Or it might be a moment to focus on your breath and body. It’s also great to practise a routine activity, such as driving or washing up, in silence, to bring full attention to the present moment.
Finding quiet is one of the most nourishing things we can do for body and soul. However you choose to connect with silence, with practice you’ll reap the rewards.