In a world that is seemingly more and more connected it is also getting louder and louder. For some this is enjoyable and exciting. For others this is a daunting task to continue to be who they are and also fit in. The discussion here is not just related to intorversion/extroversion as could be an easy segway. The convesation is about silence and what can be taken away from times where noise is not present.
Here are a few things that silence allows and enhances.
1. Rest: All of us need to rest and sleep. Sleep is a major part of healthy living and allowing the body to rejuvenate itself. As people get older the necessity for sleep may decrease however we also know that the body and mind is not growing like it used to. Silence allows the body to sleep, from personal and professional experience people can’t sleep in very loud, bright, and chaotic situations. Physical sleep is important but mental rest is just as significant. Individuals can only sustain a limited amount of thinking time. Resting the mind is key to better living.
2. Learning: In all academic learning environments libraries and quiet spaces are key to success. Through out my many years of education I have always found some of the smartest and most accomplished to study for extended periods of time in quiet places that protect silence or an environment close to it. No matter what people say or believe about multi tasking, to do a project or learn something well, and individual needs to focus on one task alone. Too many external stimuli at one time limits the way that information is taken in and held onto.
3. Connection with self: Silence can greatly increase a persons ability to know themselves. As has been mentioned above, silence gives people the ability to rest, recharge, and learn. The ability for someone to become more aware of what is going on inside them happens in an increased way when someone is quiet. The practice of mindfulness is rooted in connection of self. The connection of self happens when external factors are kept at a minimum and a persons focus is increased on personal physical state and thought content. Silence from the externals can illuminate the personal connection and awareness one has with themselves.
4. Spiritual connection: it is difficult to engage in spiritual connection during times of chaos. Just like the personal connection, entering into places where there is a quiet place helps to control thought content and increases physical relaxation, two important areas to address when connecting spiritually.
Where do you find silence and how do you engage with it?