It’s almost never silent in our world. Music in the car, while shopping for groceries and filling up at gas stations and turning the TV on for background noise in the home. The World Health Organization (WHO) called noise a “modern plague” and reported that environmental noise has adverse effects on our health.
Studies have shown silence relieves stress and tension.8 Noise pollution has been found to lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as impairing hearing and overall health. Loud noises raise stress levels by activating the brain’s amygdala and causing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, according to research. A study published in the journal Heart found that two minutes of silence is more relaxing that listening to relaxing music.9
Silence can regenerate brain cells. A study published in the journal Brain, Structure, and Function in 2013 found that two hours of silence a day led to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, a key brain region associated with learning, memory, and emotion. These findings suggest that silence could be therapeutic for conditions like depression and Alzheimer’s.
Silence replenishes our mental resources, so walking in the quiet stillness of nature can help clear your brain. When the brain is idle, we can tap into our inner stream of thoughts, emotions, memories, and ideas. With silence we can get more meaning from our experiences, be more creative, and reflect on our own mental and emotional states.
How do you disconnect from all the noise in the world today? Limit TV. News and commercials are told from angles designed to prey on your emotions. You express what you ingest. Social media can be a time waster. Limit time spent checking social media accounts. Fill the time by calling and talking to family and friends in person. Choose the healthy solutions.
Turn inward and wonder what sort of disconnection might be best for you. To hear your own voice, sometimes you may need to be willing to lose your connection with the people, places, and things that create all the noise in your life. Carve out some time to disconnect from the noise around you and reconnect with yourself.