Silence is Golden at timesRashi Bhargava
“A moment in silence, a talk with your soul…is a moment of self reflection, A nourishment for life, to create a whole new world.”—anonymous
In a world full of distractions, Silence is rare, yet it’s of great value to us for a good quality life we want to live.
Recently a friend of mine was asked to be on voice rest. She had been working crazy hours as a therapist without taking care of her health. Loss of voice can be disturbing even if it temporarily. I have experienced this in my life and I know how challenging it can be when you can’t speak. While exchanging messages, she in one her message wrote that how she is using this forced silence to self-reflect.
My second Think week break was approaching and her message got me thinking and reflecting on what she said. Think week break is like a pause button in my life. Constant juggling and balancing multiple activities and myriad of responsibilities keep my mind active 24*7 and my brain is continually exposed to internal and external stimuli. I am always in reacting mode leaving no room for self reflection. How does one regain perspective in life? Simply by taking a pause. I read somewhere Silence is not just lack of noise. It’s an empty space for our mind to recover clarity.
Social media notifications, constant buzz of emails, Movie binging, overthinking, constantly being surrounded by others, and overloading our calendars in my case are just many of the infinite ways to avoid silence. We have turned noise into entertainment — providing a temporary distraction so that we can’t pay attention. Noise is like a poison for our minds.
The World Health Organization in a 2011 report called noise pollution a “modern plague,” concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.” Noise is a serious disease in current times.
The problem is that noise for many of us has become escape. According to Psychologist Carl Jung we naturally seek out noise because it suggests human company — we humans need the comfort and safety of the group to survive. Nonetheless, our lives are not under constant attack as they were many centuries ago. Detaching from our environment for a couple of hours/days won’t put our life in danger and probably its a good idea to practice silence at regular intervals.
Silence provides many benefits:
1.Silence is comforting, and is a nourishment to the ever wandering soul.
2.When you are silent, you get an opportunity to hear your inner voice which gets suppressed in our daily grind amidst the distracted and noisy world we live in. When you listen to your inner voice you in turn have heightened awareness of what matters the most in life.
4. It nurtures the mind and body. It helps in healing.
5..Come to think of it, 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.
6.Silence offers opportunities for self-reflection and day dreaming. My best business ideas have come when I have observed silence for a few hours and spent time reflecting.
7.Silence cultivates mindfulness-being present in the moment and appreciating it.
8.Noise helps alleviate stress levels. We are frazzled and are reactive. When we are quiet and calm we tap into different parts of the nervous system that helps shut down our body’s physical response to stress.
9.When we look inward and delve deeper into our value system and wants and needs, we can communicate with our environment at a deeper level.
But how do we find room for silence. Not everyone can be bold enough to make a decision like me, to have a designated week long think break every three months.
1.Meditation-practice of sitting in silence and focusing on the present. In my case it’s my daily practice of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo which is similar to meditation. This daily practice was not easy to incorporate in my daily schedule. Over the years of chanting I have realized that the benefits outweigh the discomfort I feel at times. In the initial days of practice my mind use to wander. Over time the wandering mind becoming calmer and I started focusing on one thing at a time.
2.My Mom used to love having her morning tea in silence. She was a great believer in the power of Silence. She hated being disturbed during her morning tea ritual. The silence helped her gather thoughts, focus on the day ahead.
3.Whenever I am travelling, be it in a metro, bus, train or plane, I just stare out of the window and soak in everything my senses are assaulted with.
4.Last year when I started running my mobile and headphones were my constant companions. But today I run without the gadgets and observe things, listen to the rhythmic music of my feet landing and touching the ground.
5.I often sit in coffee shops to bring much needed change to my WFH life, sip coffee and observe the world around me in silence.
Remember Silence is not the absence of action, but fertile ground for reflection and learning.