Many people feel overwhelmed these days. The ongoing demands of the modern world have led to new levels of stress.
When life seems to never stop, it can be good to build a moment of silence in your day. It can be as simple as turning off your phone, sitting on a chair, and focusing on the sound of your breathing for just five minutes.
Building those moments of silence might empower you throughout the day. It’s a set time you can take for yourself without feeling guilty. It’s not so long that you can’t fit it in, and not so short that you won’t recognize the benefits.
For anyone who feels overwhelmed at some point throughout the day, we have found five life-changing benefits of silence.
1. Taking a Moment of Silence Helps your Thinking
The first of five benefits of silence is that it is good for the brain. In fact, studies show that practicing moments of silence literally grows the brain.
Because moments of silence allow you to think with more focus, they help grow your cortex, the part of your brain where your real thinking takes place.
Practicing silence can also improve your memory. Because your memory partly depends on how often you think about something, thinking things over in silence helps create patterns in your brain that you also use for your memory. It’s a way of training your brain to remember better.
When we’re silent for a moment, we allow our brain to focus and work without getting distracted by a lot of impulses. Because your brain is always developing, focusing your brain will also train it.
Making time to be silent, even for five minutes a day, will soon benefit the most important organ you have: the brain.
2. Silence Benefits Your Creativity
Another benefit of silence is that it allows you to think differently. Silence is a way of getting rid of the many impulses we get on an ongoing basis. Because we’re slowing down and really focusing on the moment, our brain gets a chance to ignore the immediate concerns and think on a higher level.
Creativity is one of the ways this higher level thinking is used. It is not a coincidence that so many moments of inspiration take place at a time when we’re away from immediate impulses: in the shower, the bathroom, or in bed right before we fall asleep.
It is because we’re silent and slowing down in those moments that creativity gets a better chance to break through.
Another form of higher level thinking is that it’s easier to think long term. Most people decide to quit their jobs when they’re on a vacation. Because they’re away from the distractions that dictate their everyday lives, they can suddenly see a different way of handling the future.
Daily moments of silence can bring the same benefits. The practice of silence will allow you to take a step back and look further ahead.
3. Silence Helps you Process Emotions and Make Better Decisions
Not only does silence help you think on a higher and more creative level, it also allows you to take a closer look at your emotions.
When you take the pressure off and take the time to consider your feelings, you will get a better grip on them. By taking time to question yourself, you may discover why you feel what you’re feeling, and maybe even what you can do about it.
Those moments of getting closer to yourself also mean that it can be good to have short moments of silence in your relationships. Taking a moment to step back might keep you from reacting reflexively, letting you really examine what is best in the situation or relationship.
When you have to make a difficult decision, this benefit will prove even more effective. Because of the combination of high-level thinking and the slow emotion processing that comes from taking a moment of silence, this technique will also allow you to make better life decisions.
Examine how you feel about the different outcomes, what the long-term consequences are, and how much control you can have in the situation.
4. Silence Can Build Resilience
The power of silence can also help you to settle down a bit. Like a small pond in the rain, our mind is always getting new impressions and impulses. Building moments of silence in your everyday life will allow you to take it all in and settle again.
Taking a daily break and using that moment to calm back down in silence can help you get through the day much better and reduce overall stress.
Many people experience some form of stress throughout the day. Many techniques show the benefits of building a moment of silence in your day.
Like taking a nap, silence can help you restore balance and recharge you to feel better suited for what the day may bring.
5. The Power of Silence for your Health
Maybe one of the most important benefits of silence is that it’s good for your overall health. Remember when you were told to count to ten? Taking a moment of silence in your day is one way to extend this old idea into your overall life.
The daily practice of silence has been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure, mental health, and reduces stress.
Stress is the body’s way of dealing with pressure, and too much stress will turn your body into overdrive. People who are under a lot of stress see the effectiveness of their immune system go down, their sleep quality lessen, and their digestive system function poorly. Silence helps battle stress and the symptoms that come with it.
Silence also helps promote hormone regulation and keeps plaque from forming in arteries, two simple effects that will have a profound long-term effect on your health. Keeping your arteries free prevents heart diseases over the long run, giving the daily practice of silence an even clearer benefit.
~ Written by Bas Boshuizen
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