Seeking Quiet: The Proven Benefits of Silence

Silence and solitude - quiet moments are vital for physical and mental wellbeing

Have you ever been stressed by a screaming baby on an airplane? Or just by the hustle and bustle all around? The you will appreciate how a spell of silence can truly be golden.

Noise is very bad for us according to the World Health Organisation. It’s a modern plague.

We have covered ways of reaching a beautiful quiet before, but it’s time to find out why silence is so good, and why it’s so healthy for the human being.

Stress is a killer but silence is an equaliser

Silence is scientifically proven to help reduce stress levels – and stress is a killer.

‘Noise pollution’ may lead to higher blood pressure and fatal heart attacks says the American Psychological Association covering a report from World Health Organisation. Keeping your blood pressure at the right level can help avoid many problems…be quiet!

Proven benefits of enveloping yourself in silence

Psychotherapist Amy Morin lists some proven benefits of silence she witnessed in her practice. Silence and solitude helps to

      • Make you happier and builds your mental strength
      • Sparks your creativity
      • Raises your productivity
      • Increases your empathy and compassion
      • Reduces behaviour problems in kids
      • Makes you more comfortable in your own skin

“Me time” in solitude and silence, rather than watching TV from the sofa, also helps you to plan things and sort stuff out in your head. A quiet walk outdoors in nature maximises the effect.

Silence builds brain power

The hippocampus in our brain is associated with learning, memory, emotion, spatial memory and navigation. When taxi drivers master “the knowledge”, all that learning increases the size of their hippocampus.

A 2013 study on mice, using silence as a control, found that two hours of silence daily led to the growth of new cells in the hippocampus.

Building the brain sounds like a very good thing indeed. More research needs to be done but it seems that this could be mirrored in humans. Preliminary research suggests that silence could be good for depression and Alzheimer’s too.

Silence has psychological benefits too

Quiet allows you to hear things you may not have. The beat of your heart, the flow of blood in your ears when you stand, and the cracks of your bones that your ears filter out. You can be introspective and tune in to things you usually miss. Reflection and self-awareness is important.

There are so many benefits of quiet, silent solitude.

What we can do to grow the benefits of silence in our lives

Even staying in bed for an extra 5 minutes while consciously enjoying silence and solitude brings a fresh zest to your day. The key to unlocking this reinvigoration is being aware of the silence and how beautiful it is. An oasis away from the rest of your life.

Periods of silence throughout the day enhance sleep and lessen insomnia. Relaxing can help you sleep and stay asleep for longer and being silent is the best way to keep that blood flowing.

Keeping mindful helps with realising when silence is necessary

We briefly summarised meditation and mindfulness in a previous article. It’s important that we understand how taking a step back to analyse life in contemplation is integral to good health.

Saying what you mean is important too and taking that time to think about it without interruption is the key thing. Not saying things you don’t mean is equally important. As the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, ‘What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence’. Silence is a strategy.

Taking action is really simple

To be silent is to be healthy. Not just to rest your mind – it rests your body too and allows you to regenerate, rejuvenate, and relax. The beautiful quiet is one way to take care of both it. So just shut up!

There are many more beneficial effects of seeking out silence. Look them up because one or two may spur you on to actually take action that can enhance your life.

 

References

Beaumont, A. (2017).  10 Reasons Why Silence Really Is Golden. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/handy-hints-humans/201704/10-reasons-why-silence-really-is-golden

Gregoire, C. (Sep 2017). Why Silence Is So Good For Your Brain. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/silence-brain-benefits_us_56d83967e4b0000de4037004

Kane, S. (Jul 2018). The Hidden Benefits of Silence. Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-hidden-benefits-of-silence

Morin, A. (Aug 2017). 7 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Spend More Time Alone. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2017/08/05/7-science-backed-reasons-you-should-spend-more-time-alone/#5db7bce91b7e

Novotney, A. (Aug 2011). Silence, please. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/07-08/silence

 

The Guardian (Sep 2001). Ludwig Wittgenstein. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2001/sep/05/features11.g21

The Public Purse (Jul 2019). Brief Meditations On Meditation: Mental Health And The Beautiful Quiet. Retrieved from https://www.thepublicpurse.org.uk/public-health/brief-meditations-on-meditation-mental-health-and-the-beautiful-quiet

The Public Purse (Sep 2019). Is Mindfulness Better Than Meditation For Young People? Retrieved from https://www.thepublicpurse.org.uk/education/is-mindfulness-better-than-meditation-for-young-people

World Health Organisation. Noise. Retrieved from http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/noise

 

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