|Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the noise that surrounds your life?|
Years ago I went on a 10-day silent meditation retreat. After a few tortuous days alone with my thoughts and feelings I began to surrender to a place of peace and reflection.
More than the meditating it was the quiet that gave me the space to think and reenergize. Before this experience, I had not even noticed how inundated I was with noise—especially the noise of technology.
Since that retreat from more than three decades ago, I’ve learned that sitting in silence whether or not I’m deliberately meditating has helped me to gather my thoughts, focus and personally lead my life with greater intention.
How does noise affect you and your ability to focus? And what do you do about it?
The World Health Organization (WHO) called noise pollution a modern day plague and claims “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”
Stress, heart disease, tinnitus, loss of sleep and agitation are some of the ways we are negatively affected by noise.
Think of when you hear a sudden loud noise. Your cortisol or stress level spikes and you might notice your heart beating faster for a few minutes. When exposed to loud sounds chronically they form a backdrop and we may not even notice the toll this is taking on our nervous system.
Silence, on the other hand, leads to improved energy, creativity, concentration, memory, and better sleep. This doesn’t mean we need to be in isolation tanks or with no sound at all. For example, the sounds of nature can be quite soothing.
Walking in the woods, gardening, being by the beach, showering or using noise canceling apps give us the relief we need from constant noise.
Other ways to discover inner quiet are found by observing the sensations of the heart, breath or the body.
Everyday there are opportunities to disengage from the noise which will directly impact your experience of overwhelm.
What do you do to silence the noise in your space?
Please let me know your thoughts, comments and feedback below. I read ALL of your responses.