We all have busy lives. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, we easily get caught in our daily tasks and activities. Working, doing chores, running errands, helping the kids with their homework, and maintaining our social life are activities we spend the majority of our time on.
Hectic as our life is, it appears like we’ve become accustomed to living at a fast pace. Trying to fulfill all our daily responsibilities on time, both at home and at work, is the main thing we devote our time and energy to.
And it’s getting more difficult to find some time that we’d devote only to ourselves. Time that we’d spend gathering our thoughts, exploring our deepest emotions and fears, and considering our opportunities. Time that we’d spend relaxing or pampering ourselves. Time that we’d spend in silence.
Silence – the most underrated thing in our busy, chaotic lives.
Although it’s something that we rarely think about or take time for, silence is one of the most important things in these modern times – times of constant noise and rush.
How important silence is can be seen in the fact that even some of the most famous and successful people in the world try to enjoy some quiet time every day. Famous writers J.K Rowling and Walter Isaacson, Californian Governor Jerry Brown, American academic and businessman Bill George, and American billionaire investor Ray Dalio all try to set aside time for some peace and quiet as this contributes to their success.
The Busier Your Life Is, The More Silence You Need
The more things you have to take care of in one day, the more time you need to take for silence. All the people we mentioned previously try to spend some time away from other people, including social media. Since hectic as their lives are, they need time to recharge their batteries so as to be as productive, both in their working and personal lives, as they possibly can.
One study has shown that setting aside time for peace and quiet is beneficial to our overall well-being. The study has revealed that spending time in silence helps develop new cells in the hippocampus, an area in the brain that is responsible for memory, emotions, and learning.
Then, another study, which studied the changes music causes in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, showed that the two systems of participants were more stabilized when two-minute quiet time was inserted between music tracks than when the participants were exposed to music described as relaxing.
And a study carried out in 2013 showed that the drawbacks of distraction and noisy environment related to open-plan office layout are greater than the anticipated benefits, such as increased productivity, performance, and enthusiasm associated with enclosed private offices, where the interactions between colleagues are not planned.
The most essential and beneficial kind of quiet time which you can make for yourself is the one that allows you to quiet your inner talk and think in creative ways. Author and motivational speaker Hal Gregersen writes in a Harvard Business Review article that cultivating silence “increases your chances of encountering novel ideas and information and discerning weak signals.”
When we focus our attention on our interactions with others and social media, we actually prevent ourselves from thinking creatively and obtaining new, different perspectives on the things around us. Therefore, taking time for silence is crucial to our productiveness and creativity.
If you don’t know how to practice this, there are some very simple things you can do so as to get your quiet time. For example, spend 5 minutes in utter silence several times during the day or spend a few hours by yourself in nature.
And if you feel like all those websites you visit and social media are what prevent you from being productive, then limit the time you spend on them for a while. And last but not least, remember that practicing meditation is a great way to quiet your mind and recharge your batteries.