Do you still remember what ‘silence’ means? When was the last time you actually spent several minutes enjoying complete silence? Silence has truly become a luxury. Human beings now mostly live in urban spaces and therefore in noisy environments. These noises – may they be from public transportation, neighbourhood, shops, music, and so on – constantly affect our brain. This excessive noise can lead to an increase in both physical and mental stress. As a result, we all strive for silence.
Silence Is Beneficial For Both Our Body And Our Brain.
1. SILENCE REGENERATES OUR CELLS
Silence allows our brain cells to relax and to regulate all their cognitive functions. These are indispensible in order to live properly. Researchers have found that being daily exposed to two hours of silence would increase the regeneration of nerve cells in the hippocampus. The latter is responsible for learning, memory and emotions.
2. REDUCING STRESS
Whether you are asleep or fully awake, every excessive noise reaching your brain will trigger your tonsil, leading to an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone that functions to increase blood sugar. As a result, your body will get prepared to face eventual dangers. Stress will accumulate throughout the day and will thus affect both your body and your mind. A recent study however showed that two minutes of silence would be sufficient to release the tension within both your brain and body. Researchers put emphasis on the fact that people actually need two minutes of silence rather than of music.
3. PREVENTING CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
A calm environment will help your organism reduce its heart rate, its blood pressure, its breathing and will help stabilise its brain waves. It will thus provide a sense of being calm that will help favour mental and physical wellbeing. Moreover, a reduced stress will decrease people’s tendency to eat, smoke or avoiding exercise, all of them being factors leading to an increase in cholesterol or blood pressure.
4. INCREASING CREATIVITY
“In a quiet and remote place, your sensory system will start to relax and will open up new perspectives”
Zoral Josipovic, Researcher in neuroscience at the University of New York.
Noise affects your cognitive performances (e.g. your motivation, attention, memory or creativity). Our brain therefore needs tranquillity; fewer unpleasant stimuli will thus restore its cognitive faculties.
“Tranquillity helps me review all the thoughts that cross my mind and helps me concentrate on my emotions.”
David Kraemer researcher in neuroscience.
A calm environment will stimulate our creativity enabling us to assimilate and process all the pieces of information experienced throughout the day. Our brain will thus be able to perfectly integrate the perceived emotions leading to the development of both our imagination and creativity. This can explain why new-borns sleep a lot, as they have to integrate all the new pieces of information perceived thanks to their various senses.
5. LESS IRRITABILITY
Sensory overload attacks and tires our brain preventing it from dropping its guard. As a case in point, if you have already been to a festival, you probably know that feeling of irritability during which anything can irritate you.
Do not forget that beyond constant noises, what you eat will also affect your mood. Pay therefore attention to the amount of coffee you drink as well as to avoiding eating comfort food.
6. REDISCOVERING YOURSELF
« Protecting yourself from noise can calm your body, increasing thus the volume of your voice and improving your connections with the external world. »
David Gross, a researcher in neuroscience
As we are constantly solicited by external stimuli, we no longer have enough opportunities to concentrate on our internal feelings, intuitions and emotions. It therefore is essential to enjoy complete silence in order to rediscover our true self as well as our place in this world. To sum up, silence fills in physical, psychological, emotional, sensory and also spatial functions.
Here Are Some Ideas To ensure Silence In You Daily Life
“Several centuries ago, society was more silent and rarely disturbed by noise. We are now undergoing the complete opposite. Silence has almost become a luxury, as one almost needs to go to the mountains in order to find it”
Dr. Luciano Bernardi, Italian cardiologist who studied the benefits of music on our heart.
1. PROTECT YOUR SLEEP
Urban spaces can affect the quality of our sleep. Sleeping problems are characterized by waking up frequently because of repetitive noises. You sleep also feels light, fragmented, or unrefreshing leading to a constant tiredness.
To ensure a good sleep, you can:
Live in the countryside, away from noise pollution;
Install double glazing;
Sleep with earplugs.
2. 10 MINUTES OF SILENCE EACH MORNING
Have you already tried meditation? If not, go and sit each and every morning in a quiet room at home. Then, close your eyes, feel your breathing and enjoy silence. Do remember what has been previously said: two minutes of silence are sufficient to feel relaxed. One proverb indeed says that: “You should meditate 20 minutes each day except if you do not have time. In that particular case, you should meditate 1 hour”.
3. GO AND HAVE A WALK INTO THE WOODS
Don’t you think that going to the woods is so simple but also so efficient? So, what are you waiting for? You can daily go to the nearest park and have a walk there or decide to go to the closest forest during the weekend. A study has shown that a 40-minute walk into the woods three times a week boosts your brain and helps improve your attention and memory.
4. GO AND VISIT A MUSEUM
There is usually a particular atmosphere inside museums that is made up of a combination of tranquillity, silence but also implicit questionings. Everyone is free to walk around at their own pace in order to fully enjoy the exhibited works of art. It therefore represents the best place to enjoy silence and to relax.
5. GO ON HOLIDAY
If you decide to go on holiday, opt for a calm and relaxing destination. Why not travel to northern countries? In 2011, Finland launched a touristic campaign called “Silence, please!”.
“When confronted to the rush and pressure of modern life, everything that is considered as rare is even more valuable: this is the case of both tranquillity and the opportunity to enjoy yourself”.
In order to purify yourself, opt for:
A cabin vacation;
Sleeping under the stars.