We live in an extremely noisy world. Traffic, television, mobile phone ... we live with an excessive amount of noise without, sometimes, being aware of it. But does this have consequences on a physical or psychological level? Are we ignoring qualities of silence that could benefit us? In this article we talk about the need to pay more attention to silence, than to the noise that constantly calls us.
- 1 The benefits to be silent
- 2 Physiological benefits
- 3 Silence as an anti-stress weapon
- 4 Help against insomnia
- 5 Promote creativity
- 6 Help for self-reflection
The benefits to be silent
“I have always loved the desert. You sit on a sand dune, see nothing, hear nothing. However, through the silence something beats, and shines. ” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
We do not usually be aware of the importance it can mean experience silence for a few moments. Sometimes due to lack of time or daily stress, we get carried away by the future of the sounds that capture our attention and take us away from it, immersing ourselves in the mundane noise and moving away from introspection.
Some people don't even feel comfortable if they don't hear noise around them and prefer to surround themselves with sounds that break the silence, so strange these days. This is demonstrated in very popular studies such as the one carried out by the University of Virginia, in which several participants had to choose between being alone, silent for 10 minutes or suffering a small electric shock. 67% of men and 25% of women chose electric shock before spending that short time alone with their thoughts.
However, many of the benefits it can bring us spend time in silence and that we should not overlook.
There are few benefits that a time of silence has for our body. It has been proven that silence manages to strengthen the immune system, as well as lower blood pressure. In addition, it promotes the growth of new cells in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory and learning processes. Moreover, according to this research published by the magazine Heart, thanks to the decrease in stress that silence achieves, even the cardiovascular system is benefited.
Silence as an anti-stress weapon
Noise causes stress in our nervous system. When the amygdala, a brain structure involved in emotions and emotional memory, detects noise, it sends brain signals that release hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline, generating this feeling of stress.
Silence can help reduce this stress and anxiety generated by noise, as well as relieve tensions thanks to the decrease in adrenaline and cortisol it achieves.
Help against insomnia
It seems that living with silence for several minutes a day is a Help to rest better at night.
According to a study by JAMA Internal Medicine, older people who suffer insomnia They found great relief from this condition after six weeks practicing meditation, a practice that requires fleeing from the mundane noise, among other things.
Silence is a powerful weapon for creation. By promoting relaxation, ideas emerge more fluidly and calmly and our creativity can expand more naturally. When there are noises, ideas remain in the background and we tend to pay attention to the environment and thus forget our focus to generate new ideas and paths.
It is not strange to find that many of the great creators of history have affirmed the quality that provided them to work alone, such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein or Roger Waters. In the words of this famous quote from Pythagoras: "Listen, you will be wise. The beginning of wisdom is silence."
Help to self-reflection
Silence can foster greater self-reflection and self-knowledge. The best state of concentration it produces is beneficial to achieve these introspective states with which to face the problems and concerns that can coexist with us. Without that parenthesis of loneliness and stillness, reflection becomes more complicated and this hinders our ability to be aware of a reality that can be perceived as disorganized, as well as making decisions if necessary.
As we mentioned before, for many people silence inspires loneliness and discomfort, since they can associate it with a confrontation with their own fears and thus, they try to avoid this state by filling their minutes with noise. However, this constant noise is what can truly destabilize us physically and emotionally. There are many studies that have confirmed the damage that exaggerated and prolonged noise can cause us.
With a few minutes of silence a day, we can regain strength and benefit in many aspects of our lives. The next time the noise makes you feel prey to stress and deconcentration, try to find a quiet place and listen to the silence for a few minutes, without letting ourselves be carried away by the sounds that distract us, simply focusing on the calm that it brings us. Your body and nervous system will thank you.