It may sound crazy, but in today’s world, many people struggle with accepting silence. We jog to music, have the TV playing in the background while we eat and even fall asleep watching a movie or listening to the news. Unfortunately this unfamiliarity with silence can be detrimental to our mental and physical well-being. Read on for tips on how you can find that love of silence once more.
Turn off the TV during family time
When you spend a good amount of time with your family, it’s easy to think, “What’s the harm in leaving the TV on while we play cards or have dinner?” Unfortunately making a habit of it means many of your family members may become more interested in the sounds coming from the television than they are in enjoying a comfortable silence or engaging in conversation with others. And if you can’t enjoy silence with those you’re closest to, how will you be comfortable with it anywhere else? Do yourself and your family a favour by turning off the TV at your next gathering.
Fall asleep on your own
When you have trouble falling asleep, it’s natural to turn to things you find soothing. You may play some calming music or put your favourite show on in the background. Doing so sometimes seems like a good idea, but it may ultimately make it harder for you to fall asleep and provide you with less high-quality rest. Instead, next time you’re struggling for a snooze, keep the sound off, and focus on your breathing. Listen for the consistent sound of your inhale and exhale, and let the pattern slowly drift you off to sleep. It may feel like it takes awhile, but your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run. And the more familiar you get with falling asleep in silence, the easier it will become.
Go someplace quiet to hang out
When you want to catch up with a friend, where do you go? Chances are you head to a bustling restaurant or a busy bar. And while you’re there, you’re more likely to pick up on the conversation of the group of loudmouths next to you or the words blaring through the music system’s speakers overhead than you are to truly enjoy a deep, meaningful conversation with your friend. Even coffee shops these days are a loud mix of people, orders and bizarre elevator music. Such distractions make it hard to truly connect and enjoy sharing your thoughts and feelings. The next time you plan to meet up with someone, why not enjoy a quiet get-together? Have a picnic in the park, go for a walk through local trails or invite him or her for a coffee at your place. Sometimes taking the extra noise out is all you need to make a meaningful connection.
Plan quiet “me time”
You should spend “me time” exactly how you see fit, but if you spend your time alone vegging in front of reality TV or blaring music while you jog, try incorporating some quieter options. When you find a half hour all to yourself, try enjoying it in as much silence as you can garner. Turn off the TV, radio and sound system, and treat yourself to a relaxing bubble bath. Or go for a run down your favourite trail without your iPod — let the sounds of nature entertain you. It doesn’t mean you always have to spend time on your own in absolute silence, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to give your ears and your mind a little break every now and then.