The world is a noisy and busy place. There’s so much vying for our attention. It’s like having a young child by your side relentlessly imploring us to “look at me, look at me.” Auditory and visual stimulation abounds.
A respected executive coach calls this phenomenon Input Addiction. Walk down a city street or sit in a doctor’s office, and watch what people are doing. They’re staring at their cell phones – texting, reading and writing email, posting on social media, surfing the web, or listening to music. We are doing something, anything but being still.
A dear friend and colleague, the now retired gynecologist, Dr. Helene Leonetti said she had a zillion patients suffering from adrenal fatigue. Many today are relying on the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol to provide them with energy to get through the day. And we’re paying a price for this lifestyle – anxiety, depression, overwhelm, headaches…to name a few of the signs.
This leads us to the search for an antidote. Fortunately, there is one, SILENCE. It is good for us, especially when we imbibe daily. You could try it right now. Just close your eyes for a half minute or minute and take a few slow breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly, mindfully. Let go… Was there a hint of relief? Imagine if this could become a rhythm in your life.
Spending time in silence nourishes our soul. It regulates our hormones, reduces blood pressure, normalizes our immune system response, helps us sleep better, stabilizes our emotions, and enhances creativity. Fatigue melts away in silence, and we become better listeners.
If you’ll begin to introduce periods of silence into your daily life, you will begin to feel more comfortable inside your own skin. It happened for me. After learning to meditate, and incorporating it into my day, I began to regularly experience moments when I felt wonderful and couldn’t explain why. The reason was simple, silence is delightful and transformative, and it was growing in my awareness through daily meditation practice.
Here’s the bottom line. If you want more joy and fulfillment in your life, it’s close at hand. Put down the cell phone, or sit back away from your computer, and be still, breathe consciously if for only a few minutes. With consistency, the rewards will accumulate and be profound. Or walk silently, ideally in nature every day. If you want to go deeper, find an experienced and skilled teacher and learn to meditate. It is the pinnacle of self-care.
One of our Effortless Meditation™ clients, a physician, told me his meditation is a mini-vacation; then, with a big smile, he declared that he’s now vacationing every day! As a result, he said he’s so much happier. He was clearly delighted that he added short periods of silence to his busy life. Imagine the possibilities.
The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.
Director, Stress Reduction Resources