Silence, Science and Soul

Silence…so many dislike it, avoid it or even fear it. And yet, I gravitate towards it… It’s deep, reflective silence that becomes a natural exercise of mindfulness.

Silence is as essential to my existence as breathing. Silence allows me to function better as a human being. It’s why I have been silent on my blog for while as I sort of try to figure things out. I’m still working on that, so you can  expect several bouts of silence.

There’s so much that can be said about silence. But then again silence can say it all.

I could use my poetic license and end my piece right here. But perhaps you need a bit more convincing, perhaps you need some proof that silence is indeed important.

A dear friend shared some research recently and it brought to the fore so much about my own relationship with silence. I am one of those people who indeed gets stressed out with elevated levels of noise. For example – if the television is switched on at high volume and so is the radio, and there’s a rowdy  conversation going on; I find it difficult to concentrate or think clearly. Cue – instant headache. There are some days where I can deal with that scenario. Get-togethers with family and friends, parties and of course the festive season just behind us are an exception. But on most days… like today, I, yes you guessed it, gravitate towards silence.

This article serves as an affirmation of my yearning for silence – perhaps more so as I grow older (and hopefully a bit wiser too!)

“The value of silence is felt by everyone at some point in their life. Silence is comforting, nourishing and cosy. It opens us up to inspiration, and nurtures the mind, body and soul. Meanwhile, the madness of the noisy world is drowning out our creativity, our inner connection and hampering our resilience. Science is now showing that silence may be just what we need to regenerate our exhausted brains and bodies.

Studies show that noise has a powerful physical effect on our brains, causing elevated levels of stress hormones. Sound travels to the brain as electrical signals via the ear. Even when we are sleeping these sound waves cause the body to react and activate the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with memory and emotion, leading to the release of stress hormones. So, living in a consistently noisy environment will cause you to experience extremely high levels of these harmful hormones.

Interestingly, the word noise is said to come from the Latin word nausia, (disgust or nausea) or the Latin word noxia, meaning hurt, damage or injury. Noise has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, tinnitus and loss of sleep. We’ve all experienced the detrimental effects of noise pollution. Excessive noise can be a major affront to the physical senses and today, more and more people are identifying as highly sensitive and unable to function in chaotic and noisy environments. But now science has the proof not only that noise hurts, but also that silence heals. ”

You can read the rest of the article here;

This article isn’t by any means new, but it is an interesting personal revelation as I was beginning to wonder if there was any logical explanation for my silent phases.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you would agree that there are dangers too. We could come across as being anti-social, inflexible, headstrong or as some would like to label us – “fussy”. I get that often!

But I cannot be apologetic. I value silence too much.

Another beautiful part about staying in silence is that you learn to respond to others with silence. So even if harsh words are thrown at you, you do not retaliate. If you need to speak up, you think twice and respond diplomatically rather than in the heat of the moment. Yes, I am talking from personal experience – make that trial and error.

I’m off now to seek my daily dose of silence.

Try it and let me know if it works for you – in the way science says and in a way that feeds your soul.

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