(GoHealthier.com) – Most of us long for at least a few minutes of silence by the end of each day. Whether we’re dealing with the stress of work or school, a hectic family life or the joys of living below loud neighbors, a little peace and quiet can go a long way.
The benefits of finding quiet time can amount to far more than improved well-being in the moment. Researchers have found evidence that spending time in silence may even have the power to heal.
The Mind-Body Connection
Our minds are more powerful than most of us realize. Consider the numerous physical responses we can generate with nothing more than a single thought: panic, excitement, arousal and even loss of consciousness. We’re constantly manifesting. According to Cleveland Clinic, we can use that power to heal our bodies, but we may need a little help.
In moments of silence, we can relieve ourselves of stress and give the nervous system a chance to calm itself. Silence allows us to fall into the moment and tap into our inner peace; in response, heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension decrease. Breathing can become more controlled. Focus improves. Cortisol levels reduce, lowering inflammation and anxiety and improving immune response. In short, silence gives our minds and bodies the stillness necessary to reflect, repair and recharge.
Embracing Moments of Stillness
Finding stillness and silence, and using it effectively, may take a little practice at first. Many of us initially find it difficult to sit alone with our thoughts. Silence forces us inward, and we might not be prepared to face ourselves alone when it hits.
Start small, even if it’s just a few minutes, and set a timer, so the clock doesn’t become a distraction. Embrace the silence and gently allow the mind to go blank. If thoughts arise, let them come, allowing them to pass or process; whatever happens during the session, just let it be.
Some practitioners find other forms of meditation, such as breathing exercises, yoga and tai chi, just as helpful. Others find spending their silent time out in nature to be particularly beneficial. For some people, even sitting quietly with a cup of coffee and no distractions may be enough to do the trick.
In today’s busy, crazy world, silence might not come to us; we may need to chase down those few minutes a day for ourselves. Giving our minds those moments of peace could give our bodies what they need to heal the damage caused by our stressful lives. Find what works and integrate it into each day. Silence might not seem like much, but it could be the most powerful self-care tool there is.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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