With all the noise we experience in our daily lives, finding something as simple as peace and quiet can be challenging -- especially if our environments are busy. And I'm not speaking only of our external environments, but also of our internal environments -- our thoughts.
Our thoughts can be productive, but they can also be annoying and distracting. Learning to quiet our minds can help us to focus on the thoughts that serve us best and remind us that we have the power to choose what we pay attention to. Creating moments of silence and solitude isn't just a good idea; these havens of silence are essential to our health and well-being.
When used on a regular basis, silence is a powerful tool. Our minds and bodies were designed to be active and engaged, but they also require downtime for balance and refreshment. In moments of silence, we reconnect with ourselves and gain insight, focus, and clarity. Silence can bring us into alignment with our thoughts and feelings and help us hear the quiet spiritual voice of our intuition within us.
Silence allows us to develop a deeper connection with ourselves.
In order to find silence, we may have to create a deliberate space for solitude -- simple, but not always easy. In my experience, I've found at least 3 ways to connect with the benefits of silence:
Meditate, pray, or quiet your mind on a regular basis. In silence, we can quiet our thoughts, acknowledge our emotions, and relax into our bodies. We can calm our human doing and reconnect with our inner spirit--our human being. If you're not finding time to engage in silent activities, try planning them. Take a yoga class, attend a worship service, or sit in your car during your lunch break for 10 or 15 minutes and just breathe.
Use silence for problem-solving and decision making. If you are unsure how to respond to a problem or situation, soften your stance, find a quiet space within you, identify the problem, and see what happens in response. By lowering the volume on the outside, we raise the volume on the inside. Often the answers to our most difficult questions lie within us. Stepping back and using silence to slow our momentum can connect us with more of our natural creativity.
Unplug intentionally during a vacation or staycation. Whether on a cruise ship headed to the Bahamas or simply kicking back and spending a weekend at home, pretend you're flying on a commercial airliner:
1) Put your phone in airplane mode
2) Stow your laptop
3) Turn off all other electronic and portable devices
4) Please refrain from smoking
Then start paying attention to how you are feeling when you're disconnected from the cyber world. You might miss the connections at first, but the benefits of a media break can be therapeutic.
With silence, what feels like doing nothing is actually something--a break in the pattern of stress and momentum. Take advantage of what's already waiting for us when we're ready for personal realignment. Take a moment to breathe and connect with silence--our faithful friend.
Find more tips for connecting with yourself in 21 Days to Better Balance, or another book from Michael's collection at michaelsunnarborg.com/books
Photo: My iPhone at Lake Bemidji, Minnesota