World Health Organization has noted that noise is an “underestimated threat that can cause a number of short- and long-term health problems, such as for example sleep disturbance, cardiovascular effects, poorer work and school performance, hearing impairment, etc.
With external noise at a high in our environment, our inner voice seems to have a slim chance of being heard. The need for Silence hence seems to have risen in today’s times.
In the book Power of Quiet in a world full of Noise, Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Vietnamese Monk says-
“The basic condition for us to be able to hear the call of beauty and respond to it is silence. If we don’t have silence in ourselves-if our mind, our body is full of noise-then we can’t hear beauty’s call.
There is a radio playing in our head-Radio station NST. -Non-Stop Thinking. Our mind is filled with noise and that’s why we can’t hear the call of life, the call of love. Our heart is calling us but we don’t have time to listen to our heart.”
With so much noise around us do we know what true silence is?
Are our lives so busy that there isn’t any time and place to experience real silence?
Do we avoid silence? Is it that in it, our innermost thoughts come rushing up for attention? Everything that we normally successfully manage to suppress with the distractions of life?
Is it just easier to distract ourselves with “noise” and avoid listening to that proverbial “inner voice”?
So many questions and possibilities…. answers to which can probably only be had in those moments of silence.
Silence can be positive or negative.
Negative silence is the silence of unhealthy suppression of emotions, of harboring negativity, resentment or anger and hence inner turmoil , and of apathy and sometimes even of cowardice, depending on the situation.
The positive silence is one of calmness, of introspection, of comfort, of understanding and of active listening to another.
- The silence one experiences when sitting with oneself without outside noise,
- The silence of absence of inner turmoil,
- The beautiful silence between two people,
- The silence of truly listening to another,
- And finally, the form of silence, which many great masters speak of – operating from a place of centeredness from within. Being a fully functional and productive person and operating from a sense of calmness that exudes out and seeps into everything one does.
But to reach this amazing state of silence one possibly has to become comfortable and go through the other forms of silences first.
I personally love moments of silence in the day. I see great value in it. It is these moments that-
-My creative insights come forth.
-Clarity of mind emerges. Answers come forth.
-I get a hold of what I am truly feeling and what I want to do about it.
-Any nasty emotion that needs addresal comes up for review.
-And sometimes on a lucky day I experience that much elusive sense of peace.
It’s like what Rumi said- “A little while alone in your room will prove more valuable than anything else that could ever be given you.”
In 2013 a Duke University regenerative biologist, Imke Kirste was examining the effects of sounds in the brains of adult mice. In her experiment, Kirste found that two hours of silence per day prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory, involving the senses.
Kirste said, “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”
There is no doubt- Silence nourishes. Silence strengthens. Silence heals. Silence clarifies.
In recent years it has also become a focus for neuroscientists and biologists, who are studying its effects on our bodies and health. They have discovered positive effects that silence has on our health and especially, our brain.
Iyanla Vanzant mentions in the book, Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for people of Color:
“There is a power in silence that energizes the mind, body and soul…There is wisdom in silence…There is love in silence…Silence is an art, a tool of the wise. When we perfect the art of silence, chances are we will get a whole lot more done.”
So take a few moments of silence today and nourish your spirit. You might just find the answers you were looking for.
If you want to live a happier life check out my free guide called: “The Ultimate guide to reduce anxiety and increase fulfillment” ,
Aditi Johar Mirchandani
Copyright Applies. All Rights Reserved.