Who doesn't like the quiet
Brain Research: Why Silence Is Essential For Health, Success, And Happiness
Silence has become a rare condition in many people's lives these days. The telephones ring in the open-plan office, the children scream in the evening and the music rang loudly in the bar on weekends. Even in your own four walls, thanks to the street in front of the house or the television in the living room, there is almost never any peace. When was the last time you spent a few minutes or even hours in complete silence - alone, with no activity or digital entertainment? Probably, if at all, it was on your last vacation. But even in their free time, most people now avoid the quiet. You can no longer stand it. It would actually be important in many ways. How so? Here you can find out more about this exciting topic!
1. The unbearable silence: why people avoid quiet
2. Noise level in everyday office life - like next to a lawn mower
3. So why is silence so important?
4. Silence has a positive effect on the brain
5. # 1 Silence reduces stress hormones
6. # 2 Silence promotes physical health
7. # 3 Silence allows self-reflection
8. # 4 Silence increases comprehension
9. # 5 Silence helps focus
10. # 6 Silence makes the brain grow
11. # 7 Silence makes you creative
12. Seven tips for more silence in everyday life
The unbearable silence: why people avoid the quiet
It used to be normal for there to be absolute silence at night and sometimes during the day. Perhaps a bird once sang or a thunderstorm shook the peaceful silence of nature, but all in all, calm was the norm - and everything else was the exception. Nowadays it's the other way around. Most people live in a constant level of noise. Sounds stressful? It is! But more and more of those affected do not notice this at all. You have got used to the noise and the underlying stress. Many people can no longer stand the silence at all. So you consciously avoid them. But why?
The greatest events - these are not our loudest, but our quietest hours.
(Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)
It's simple: noise is a distraction. If you are overwhelmed by ringing telephones, the latest gossip and the clatter of the keyboard in the open-plan office during the day and at the same time have to concentrate on your work, you will not have to think about it. Likewise, if the children tell you about their school day in the evening, you then turn on the TV and listen to the radio again in the morning. Because if they got some thought, many people would notice that they are in truth anything but happy with their life, that they may bypass their actual dreams, desires and values, put their basic needs aside or feel completely lost. That they feel fear, pain and sadness. All these unpleasant emotions and thoughts can be suppressed through constant activity - through excessive actionism, for example, or constant noise.
So noise is a welcome distraction from self-reflection. You don't have to deal with problems, fears, or just yourself when you avoid the silence. That might work for a while, but noise makes you sick in the long run, as you can see from the video. In addition, this distraction causes you to bypass your true self and perhaps one day look back with remorse. The way to a healthy, fulfilled and happy life can only be done through silence in the long run.
Noise level in everyday office life - Like next to a lawnmower
If you live in constant noise, your body releases the stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol without a break. You are always on the alert and do not allow your body or brain to rest. Did you know that the noise in an open-plan office is comparable to that of a lawn mower? Would you want to sit next to one and work all day? Hardly likely! Nevertheless, many of you - at least those who work in an open-plan office - can endure around 70 decibels every day. You can read about what this means for your health in the following article:
Reading tip: Diagnosis “open-plan office”: When work makes you sick
So constant noise leads to constant stress with all of its negative consequences for yours
- Susceptibility to errors
- Sleep quality
- and much more m.
The noise favors a burnout syndrome and other stress-related psychological and physical illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes, migraines, digestive disorders, back pain, depression and and and ...
So why is silence so important?
Absolute rest is so important these days precisely because it has become a rare commodity. Silence means vacation for the brain and thus also for your stressed body. Only by taking regular breaks can you recharge your resources, recover from the stressful everyday life and find yourself again. Fortunately, thanks to trends such as yoga and meditation, the importance of silence is now moving back into the focus of Western society, where it had long been forgotten. There is now even an entire tourism industry in Finland that is based on the newly found need of stressed Germans for peace and quiet. In this country, too, you will find more and more offers such as “forest bathing” or “nature therapy”. In itself there may be nothing wrong with that. But silence should become an integral part of your life - and not a one-off change from the usual party vacation.
Silence has a positive effect on the brain
Only if you regularly expose yourself to absolute silence can you benefit from the numerous positive consequences. According to a 2011 WHO study, noise pollution is one of the greatest health threats to our modern society - a real nuisance, to quote literally. Silence is the only effective antidote and that has significantly more positive effects than you might think. Absolute rest is like a vacation for your brain. So silence has a direct positive effect on the brain and thus also on your mental and physical health:
# 1 Silence reduces stress hormones
As you already know, the smallest noises, which could represent a "danger", release the stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. Your nervous system is therefore on constant alert due to the constant noise - in good German, under stress. This is not only exhausting, but a real burden on your health in the long run. Regular time-outs in silence will help you to lower the level of stress hormones in your body and thus to be able to truly relax in the first place. This is the only way to recharge your resources to get through the next stressful phase. Otherwise you will continue to burn out - in the worst case to burnout syndrome.
Reading tip:Prevent burnout - 10 effective tips for active prevention
# 2 Silence promotes physical health
By resting, you cleanse your body of the stress hormones and thus relieve your body. The stress hormones and their unhealthy by-products such as blood fat or sugar are broken down and your entire organism is purified. Silence is therefore important for physical health. It can prevent stress-related secondary illnesses such as a heart attack or stroke and thereby save your life. It also increases your well-being and reduces stress-related complaints such as digestive disorders, back pain, sleep problems, migraines, etc.
# 3 Silence allows for self-reflection
So silence is essential not only for physical but also for mental health. It allows you to go into self-reflection, to find yourself and thus also to your happiness. Only in calm can you process negative experiences, dissolve old beliefs and find new dreams or goals. You can indulge your thoughts, daydream, or find solutions to problems. Whatever you want to do with calm: it is the key to self-reflection and thus also to your true happiness. It is not without reason that yoga, meditation & Co are currently hard to come by.
Reading tip:Turn “negative” into “positive”: dissolve and transform beliefs
They bring the down-to-earth attitude, gratitude and frugality back into our western society. Silence allows you to find out who you are, what you want and what you need to change in your current life situation. This is exactly why so many people are afraid of calm: it reveals what is currently going wrong, they have to admit mistakes, process losses and face their fears. Anyone who does not trust themselves to do this task alone - for example due to stressful trauma in the past - can and should get professional help for self-reflection. On the other hand, permanently bypassing the silence will make you sick and unhappy. Guaranteed!
# 4 Silence increases comprehension
Think of the brain as a flower pot. Every plant needs water. However, if you pour in too much water at once, the pot will overflow. Instead, you have to wait for the water to drain away. This is the only way you can pour in supplies and the plant can bloom in full splendor. The information and sounds that you pick up every day also fill the brain little by little. It takes time and silence to process this and thereby create space for new information.
The way to everything great goes through silence.
Without rest, your resources will soon be exhausted. Your head feels full, you are exhausted, stressed and overworked. So silence is the “gardener” of your brain. It removes contaminated sites and thus creates space - so that you can start the next (work) day fresh, receptive and full of energy.
# 5 Silence promotes concentration
With fresh resources, you can then concentrate better again. In addition, there are of course significantly less distractions in a quiet environment than, for example, in an open-plan office with ringing telephones, colleagues gossiping and clacking keyboards. Silence activates the so-called “Default Mode Network” in the brain. This means that brain regions can become active which are “occupied” when distracted by noise. In the silence you have access to more areas of the brain and can not only work more concentrated, but also better.
# 6 Silence makes the brain grow
The brain “grows” in silence but not only metaphorically, as more areas become free. Instead, as part of their 2013 study “Is silence golden? Effects of auditory stimuli and their absence on adult hippocampal neurogenesis "find out that with daily silence new cells grow in the brain region of the hippocampus - that is, in the area that is responsible for memory and the ability to learn.
# 7 Silence makes you creative
Finally, the silence also encourages your creativity. You have recharged your resources, freed up areas of your brain, sown new brain cells, and you can now better understand connections and access thoughts, memories and ideas more easily. Your brain simply works better, more networked and more creative. That is why you will first notice that you need a break when you see your creativity declining. If all you do is “work according to the rules”, it is time for a little rest, for example a ten-minute walk in the quiet forest. You will be rewarded for this with more creativity and all the other advantages already mentioned.
Seven tips for more silence in everyday life
On the other hand, if you ignore your body's alarm signals, sooner or later you face health consequences. We have now given you seven more than good reasons to incorporate more rest times into your everyday life. The question is how?
- Buy earplugs! As simple as this tip may sound, it is effective. Especially at night, earplugs can help block out unpleasant noises such as street noise or your partner's snoring and instead help you get a good night's sleep. In this way you can optimally recharge your resources in the quiet and start the next day fresh.
- Set up a relaxation room! If you have enough space in your apartment or house, set up a relaxation room. Leave the phone, smartphone, TV, etc. outside, close the door behind you and establish the clear rule in your family or shared apartment that you must not be disturbed in the relaxation room. Of course, the children shouldn't run across the hallway screaming or their partner shouldn't be loudly listening to music in the next room.
- Practice meditation! You can meditate regularly in this relaxation room, in a guided course or in a quiet minute in the bedroom. Just five to ten minutes a day can be enough for you to feel the positive effects of silence and meditation in everyday life.
- Write the silence on your calendar! People who are particularly stressed and who hunt from one appointment to another should plan their rest times in a fixed manner. The silence is now part of your daily to-do list. So check every day again to see when you have time for ten, 15 or 30 minutes of rest and block this appointment in your calendar. Otherwise, you will always find a reason to make an "exception" today and remove the rest period from the full daily schedule.
- Live acyclically! If you prefer to get up early or late anyway and your job allows that, you live acyclically. If you are already fit in the morning at 4 a.m. or if you sit in the office until 10 p.m., you can enjoy the silence to the fullest. The more you live against the rhythm of society, the calmer your everyday life becomes - but unfortunately also the more complicated. After all, at four o'clock in the morning you can only go shopping in a few supermarkets and your buddy will certainly not be in the mood for a beer together. An acyclic rhythm of life should therefore be well thought out and weighed up.
- Turn off electronic devices! Otherwise, less drastic measures can help to reduce the noise level in your everyday life - for example the "off button" on your electronic devices. Consciously switch off your smartphone, computer, television, etc. in the evening and instead read a book in peace or just stare at the ceiling and let your thoughts wander. At some point you will get used to the new silence in your life and then you will probably only notice how annoying the constant ringing of the phone and the babbling of the TV really were.
- Relax on vacation! Finally, of course, you should come to rest not only, but also on vacation. You don't necessarily have to go to the Ballermann on Mallorca or New York to spend the Christmas holidays there. Instead, how about a quiet stretch of beach, a hut in the mountains or simply a wellness hotel with a relaxation room and relaxing massages?
What other tips do you have to bring more peace to everyday life? Can you recommend a holiday destination for those in need of rest? What positive effects has the silence brought into your life? We look forward to your contributions on the topic in the comments!
Photo credit: iStock.com/epicurean
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