We live in a world dominated by electronics. TVs, iPods, smartphones, computers, Wii, X-box, Playstation. You start your day checking your email and end your day doing the same. All day long you go, go, go, and when the day is done you unwind in front of the TV or by playing a video game. Rather than help you unwind, all of that electronic noise actually just revs you up and causes more stress in your life. It’s time to unplug and get quiet.
Unfortunately, when the opportunity for silence does arrive we don’t know what to do with it. It’s such unfamiliar territory that we panic and resort back to our old, comfortable habits – something electronic and distracting. So, why is silence so scary? It could be that some people equate silence with loneliness and would rather not be alone. Some people are afraid to confront their “issues” and so run away from the quiet. But facing your fears is one of the most important things you can do to nourish your soul and prove to yourself that you can conquer your fears in other areas of your life.
To add some silence into your life, start small. Devote a few minutes each day to just sitting quietly and focusing in your breathing. As the practice of quiet becomes more comfortable, add other times during the day when you “check out” for a few minutes. This actually helps to recharge your batteries and will make you a more energetic and productive person. Another way to quiet your life is to detach yourself from your devices for a few minutes each day. Don’t check the Blackberry the instant you get out of bed. Promise yourself to ease into the day with a healthy breakfast, a shower and getting ready all before you fire up the email and answer the world’s problems.
Another great way to disconnect is to get outside. Studies show that people who spend more time outdoors suffer from less depression and distractibility. So go and take a walk or a hike. Plant something in the garden. Play “catch” with your dog. Sit on the beach and listen to the waves at sunset.
Enjoy the quiet.