“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.” ~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Today we are challenged more than ever from the noisy environment around us. When you stop and listen to your life, you’ll notice that you are surrounded by noise all the time. Close your eyes and tune into your environment right now. What’s plugged in, switched on and making a noise? A computer humming, television sounds, phones ringing, people talking. If you live in a busy city you’ll probably also hear jackhammers, traffic, sirens and aircraft noise. Noise constantly bombards us and when there is too much auditory stress in our environment we end up shutting down some part of our senses just to cope.
The problem is not only noise but the lack of peace and quiet. If there is no peace and quiet in our daily life, how can we feel relaxed and clear-headed? The absence of peace and quiet means that we are constantly processing sound, which adversely affects our ability to enjoy simplicity and be mindful. We are not designed to sustain this kind of continual interference – our wellbeing, bodies and brains need a rest from this on-going noise and activity.
Why Turn Down The Noise?
There are many benefits to turning down the noise in your life. Peace and quiet soothes the psyche and alleviates excessive thinking. With peace and quiet, your thinking will slow down and your body, particularly your nervous system, shifts to a more balanced state that allows your fight-or-flight system to rest. Your body absorbs and processes sound which takes energy and that is why many people feel exhausted after spending time in busy shopping malls or crowds of people. Enjoying more peace and quiet means that you will have more energy and feel less tired.
Here are a few tips to help you to get started immediately:
- Occasionally enjoy a quiet house – run the dishwasher or washing machine when you go out. Mute the telephones and turn off all TV’s, radios and background noise.
- While driving in your car turn the radio off and commute in silence.
- Try to exercise without music and just be with your thoughts.
- Designate a quiet sanctuary area in your garden or home where you can go and sit for few quiet moments.
- Avoid falling asleep to the sound of the TV when you go to bed at night.
- Try to eat one meal a day alone in silence without any distractions.
- Mute (or if recorded fast forward) commercials when watching TV.
- Manage technology – turn off your mobile during certain hours instead of being available 24/7.
- Shop on-line in the peace and quiet of your home.
- Intentionally seek out more quiet moments throughout your day.
If you consciously turn down the noise and integrate some time for peace and quiet throughout the day, you will enjoy mental and emotional calm that will free up your mind, enable you to make better decisions and choices and practice mindfulness. This will have dramatic improvements on many aspects of your life.