The Sound of Silence
When was the last time that you did something without some kind of background noise? I do this all the time without even realizing it- I’ll put on some music, a podcast or an audiobook just to have some white noise while I am doing a task. It keeps me thinking positively and keeps my mind from wandering too far afield.
There’s noting wrong with a little white noise, but when was the last time that you indulged in some authentic quiet time? Not just physically, but mentally as well? When was the last time you indulged in silence — true silence?
This question called found me in a less-than-ideal place to answer…um? Silence? I can’t remember.
We tend to think of sound and silence as opposites. Loud and quiet to us are like hot or cold… but silence has a layer of nuance that we don’t typically think of. We tend to think of silence as it’s literal definition: the “ complete absence of sound”, but we tend to overlook the internal, metaphysical layer of silence that’s opposite is not-quite-sound, butis instead thought.
When it comes to mental noise, we may ignore this unheard element and think we are indulging in “quiet time” when perhaps we are not. Why? Because we are still consuming external stimuli like a book, a phone, computer, magazine, what have you. We may be still in our bodies, but we are not still in our minds-we are still taking in so much information!
When we are reading words, looking at pictures, videos, ads, and all of the things that show up on a simple scroll we are absorbing and internalizing all this information without really realizing it. When we fill our minds up with so much stimuli passively, our brains still need to process this information and treat it just like any other situation where we are absorbing information on purpose. If we continue to absorb and internalize information without a break, it can lead to our brains not knowing how to turn off, which can impact sleep and quality of rest. And, while a lot of physical noise is out of our control (think city noises, the small sounds a roommate, child, or pet makes) we do have the power to control our mental chatter by unplugging from external stimuli and tending to our internal world, even if it is only for a few moments each day.
Today I urge you to find some silence — some true silence. Be still and be present with your thoughts. Avoid external stimuli-maybe for just 10 minutes and see how you feel. Go somewhere quiet and just be that — quiet. It may look like taking a walk without headphones in nature, or sitting alone in a quiet part of your house if you are able to do so. It could look like laying down quietly for 10 minutes and just breathing. Perhaps it could even look like taking a drive without turning on music or the radio — really anything will do.
With that thought, I will be going to do just that: indulge in the sound of silence.
Originally published at http://imperfectionfreak.wordpress.com on June 13, 2021.