“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom”  Francis Bacon

I woke up unusually early this morning, and the house was still—the silence was palpable. At first, it felt a bit unnerving.

I grabbed some coffee and sat on the couch, thinking about the silence, and then physically, I could feel it wash over me. I must admit, at first, I had a fleeting thought of grabbing my computer or turning on the TV to fill the silence, but I didn’t.

I sat, letting my thoughts drift through the quiet as I began to feel a deep sense of calm—okay, the truth is, as it was happening, I started to worry about where this silence was taking me.

The longer I sat in silence, the more I started thinking about how all sounds come from silence and disappear into it. Silence is always there, beneath and around every sound. It does more than surround us; it has the power to transform us.

Benefits of Silence

Quiet moments and periods of silence do get a bum wrap. Let’s be honest –we know that silence can make us feel awkward in conversations and restless during downtime. We are overly conditioned to fill in the silence with empty conversations or noise to distract us from silent moments. However, research suggests that maybe we should embrace silence and even consciously try to cultivate more of it.

Specifically, silence can offer a respite for our bodies and minds, allowing us to disconnect from the often constant noise and stimulation. At first, silent moments can feel odd, maybe even evoke some restlessness, as we are habituated to the need to stimulate ourselves with activities and noise, thereby avoiding our thoughts. But if we can stay with it long enough, there can be many benefits to the silence.

In silence, our thoughts slow down, our stress levels decrease, and we find a rare chance for deep physical and mental reset. This tranquility can be a healing balm, calming and soothing the anxiety, worry, and fears that often live in our conscious minds. Research has found that even two minutes of daily silence can help reduce stress hormones and blood pressure.

And for those of you thinking—no way, quiet time with my thoughts is a scary place where I can focus and dwell more on the what-ifs and OMG thoughts that often arise when we worry about the future. I get it. Hence, my first thought was of feeling unnerved by the silence.

But hang in there with me…

Sitting there, enveloped in stillness, I found myself tuning in to a deeper level of consciousness—stripping away the instinctive brain’s overlearned, overrehearsed negative thought patterns. Breathing into silence has a unique power to help us connect with our intuition, an incredible source for reducing anxiety and staying in the present.

Silence can silence our minds and clear the static of daily life, enabling us to hear the inner voice that guides our decisions and sparks our creativity more clearly. Let’s be honest: It is hard to hear our inner thoughts or examine our emotions when our brain multitasks and tries to take in the multiple stimulating sources around us.

This intuitive clarity gained through silence is not just personal; it extends into our relationships and creative endeavors. It helps us forge deeper connections, think more innovatively, and approach problems with fresh perspectives.

By nurturing our inner silence, we develop a mind that understands and connects more deeply. It allows us to quiet our preconceived ideas and beliefs. It supports the brain in developing more neurons, especially in the hippocampus, which is the brain region responsible for new learning and memory. This fosters innovative and new ways of knowing.

Indeed, the link between silence, creativity, and innovation is undeniable. In silence, we find the freedom to imagine and create. Silence is the blank canvas on which our thoughts, ideas, and inspirations can freely play, leading to significant breakthroughs and innovations. Sitting in silence, we find answers, resolve internal conflicts, and connect with our intuition.

Where can you harness the power of Silence in your own life?

Here are a few suggestions to access the benefits of silence:

  • Silent Commutes: Instead of filling your travel time with music or podcasts, try commuting in silence. This can be a transformative period of reflection and mental preparation, whether you’re driving, walking, or taking public transportation.
  • Technology-Free Retreats: Designate specific times during the week for tech-free periods. This limits noise pollution from digital notifications and encourages you to engage more deeply with your immediate environment or dive into silent hobbies like drawing, knitting, sitting, and observing.
  • Mindful Gardening: Engage in silent gardening, focusing entirely on the physical sensations and the natural sounds around you. This practice helps ground you in the present moment and can be a profoundly therapeutic and creative process.
  • Silent Sports: Participate in non-competitive, silent sports like solo kayaking, hiking, or yoga. These activities provide excellent opportunities to appreciate the surrounding silence while also allowing for introspection and a mental reset.
  • Scheduled Silence Breaks: Set aside specific times at home or work for complete silence, away from conversations and media. Use these breaks to meditate, breathe deeply, or simply sit and let your mind wander. These scheduled moments can help reset your cognitive processes and spark creativity.

By consciously embracing Silence, we invite it to fill our environments and enrich our lives, fostering a deeper connection with ourselves and igniting the creative spark that drives innovation, problem-solving, and a renewed sense of empowerment within us.

Listen to the Silence. The power may surprise you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi there, I’m Dr. Lori!

This is my little corner of the internet, where I share therapeutic thoughts, tips, and strategies on life, holistic health, empowerment, entrepreneurship,  some personal reflections and more all with one goal in mind– to help you authentically live this beautiful life. I’m so happy you’re here!

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ABOUT DR. LORI

Lori Stevic-Rust, Ph.D. ABPP is a clinical health psychologist, media consultant, author, and award-winning keynote speaker for women’s empowerment and diversity with topics related to the health benefits of courage and gratitude, healthy aging, and creating a life and business from your purpose. Her infectious enthusiasm, the wealth of knowledge, engaging style, and warm sense of humor have afforded her the title of “best motivational speaker” by many organizations.