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Cultivating a Practice of Silence in your Daily Life

Cultivating a Practice of Silence in your Daily Life – In our last blog Silence and your health, we explored the benefits of silence on our physical and mental health, we noted that constant noise could affect our concentration, productivity, self-awareness and encourage stress and anxiety. Experiencing periods of silence could help to reverse some of these impacts, making us calmer, less anxious and more productive.

Given that we live in a noisy world, where we are encouraged to consume as much information and content as possible it might seem a daunting task to build silence into our everyday lives. It will take a proactive and consistent approach to explore whether this practice will have positive benefits for ourselves, below are some ideas on how you can do it.

  1. Plan times in your day when you will be silent, whether you are simply sitting or are doing things, but intentionally turn off all devices, no tv or radio in the background. You might need to start small and just do it for 10 minutes while you are washing up after dinner, or commit to getting up and dressed and having your breakfast with no background noise. Choose a time that works for you and commit to this silent time, every day for a week. Notice how you feel while you are in the silence, notice if it has any lasting impact on your day or your mood. At the end of a week, evaluate whether what you are doing is working for you? Do you want to increase the amount of time you have in silence or change it and have it at another time of the day?
  2. Consider selective silence or reducing the noise. Are there certain things that you no longer want to hear. Could you do with a break from social media, the news or your phone in general. Consider deleting social media apps for a week, and again notice the impact of this on your day, do you get more done? Do you feel better in yourself? Do you feel calmer?
  3. In suggestion 1 there is the idea to introduce a period of time in your day that you are intentionally setting aside for silence. You might also choose to invite silence into your day, all day long. One suggestion is that you use the structure of your day as prompts or cues for silent time. For instance

    Before meals you could observe 5 or 10 minutes of silence
    As you get up and dressed and when you get ready for bed.
    Whenever you have a coffee or a drink, take even a couple of minutes to sit quietly and notice how you are feeling in the quiet.
    Start to meditate, sit and simply notice your breathing in silence.

To be completely without noise of any kind might be unrealistic. You could choose to buy noise cancelling headphones and block out all the noise around you. Or you could simply pay attention to the noises that you can hear in the background of your life, in a mindfulness activity. Pay attention to the creaks in the house, the birds singing outside, the drip of a tap or people talking outside. Be fully present with the noise that is around you.

In our modern world, when silence can be scarce, forming a new relationship with sound and noise and the stimulation we let into our lives can be transformational. Encouraging silence and reducing the noise that is particularly harmful to us can help us to feel calmer and less stressed and anxious. This in turn will have a positive impact on our physical wellbeing.  

If you are struggling with any issue you might find it beneficial to speak to a professional. If you would like formal help and would like to make an appointment with Paul, please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.

Other Online Articles on Silence

Medium How to Cultivate the Power of Silence to Improve Wellbeing

Happiness.com The Power of Silence: 10 benefits of cultivating peace and quiet

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