When you need to study, you likely find someplace quiet like a library. When you get lost while driving, chances are you turn down the radio.
You may not know why this is.
When you remove excess sound, your other senses — along with your mind and body — benefit from it.
But you don’t have to be doing anything during the silence to have a positive impact on your health. Simply sitting in silence can be good for you.
The Negative Impact of Noise
Prolonged exposure to noise can lead to a myriad of health problems. Afflictions like tinnitus, heart disease, and sleep loss have all been linked to noise. These may seem obvious, but there are some not so obvious drawbacks to living in a loud world.
Noise can make it hard to focus, affect your ability to communicate, and stress you out. Removing loud noises from your life may seem impossible, but the benefits are worth it.
How Sitting in Silence Benefits Your Health
Being in a quiet area can help counteract the negative effects of excess noise. If you suffer from one of the following afflictions, give silence a try!
Noise increases the stress hormone cortisol levels in your brain. Elevated cortisol production can interfere with learning and memory and even lead to weight gain.
When used along with deep breathing exercises, silence can make you feel less burdened or at least better prepared to handle stress.
Improve Your Focus
Sitting in silence and focusing on your breathing can translate over into helping you maintain focus in other areas of your life. When you practice focusing, you’re less prone to distractions.
Being free from distractions will also help you reflect on yourself. You’ll become more intuitive and in touch with yourself.
Additionally, two hours of silence per day encourage brain growth by creating new cells in the hippocampus. This leads to improved spatial memory and focus.
Decrease Muscle Tension and Relax
Relaxing and sitting still for a few minutes can improve your physical health too. As your breathing slows and your heart rate drops, you’ll begin to feel more rested. Silence can even lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system.
If you have trouble sleeping, sitting in silence before you go to bed can help you relax and get into the proper mindset for sleep.
Enjoying the silence can help you mentally detox by purging your mind of negative thoughts.
When you take time to be away from negative people, the burden of social media, and work stress, your mind makes room for other things. This leads to emotional stability.
Not only does sitting in silence offer health benefits, but it may improve your social life too.
People who sit in silence are generally more creative, calmer, introspective, and patient. This makes more approachable in their professional and social life.
We’ve been conditioned to think that sitting in silence is uncomfortable. This is especially true when we’re with another person or group of people. Silence can be interpreted as having nothing to say.
However, a true sign of a good, healthy relationship is the ability to sit in silence together without feeling any tension or pressure to break the silence.
Try it with a friend or partner. Getting used to that silence will make you both feel more at ease with one another.
Being silent has all these benefits, but where do you begin? What more can you do other than mute the TV? In a world full of noise and distraction, how can you gain the health benefits associated with spending time in silence?
Meditation is sitting in a quiet room and bringing your focus to the present. Focusing on your breathing or a mantra can clear your mind and ease your stress.
People who meditate report feeling more patient, calm, and focused. Meditation can even lead to improved sleep.
Sit in Nature
Some people feel uncomfortable with total silence. You can still reap the positive health benefits of exposing yourself to silence when you’re not in total silence.
Sitting outside in nature or with some soft music playing as background noise will have a similar effect as sitting in total silence. Simply removing harsh noise is enough.
Go for a Stroll
If you’re uncomfortable with sitting still for a long period of time, going for a walk out in nature can help relieve stress.
If the sounds of nature aren’t enough to quiet your mind, these earbuds can block out all sound and play music if necessary.
Ditch Your Electronics
Turning off all electronics and ceasing communication for a while can help you think more intuitively. Without the pressure of social media or the obligation to carry on a mediated conversation, you can remedy some of the chaos in your life.
Benefits of Silence
It doesn’t take long to calm your mind and body. Sitting in silence and removing excess stimuli for two minutes can have a great impact on your health.
Start slowly. Try sitting in silence for two minutes once a day. Every few days, add a minute. You’ll begin to notice the positive health benefits.
It can seem impossible to take a breath when you’re surrounded by a loud environment, but doing so can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. When you remove excess stimuli, your life will seem less chaotic.
For more tips on living a healthier life, check out our other blog posts and feel free to contact us!