Silence is Golden

Silence is Golden!

In my yoga classes and the guided visualizations I offered this week, I shared key points from a great article on the benefits of silence that I came across on a very informative Facebook page about trauma. I’ll share those key points here as well.

Please visit the full article and supporting document links at http://www.inquisitr.com/3289419/neuroscience-reveals-what-happens-to-the-brain-during-silence-benefits-of-meditating-and-listening-to-nothing/

Key points:

  • Too much noise is “linked to sleep deprivation, increased blood pressure, and  heart disease.”
  • “…silence regenerates brain cells.’
  • “… it is possible that silence could someday be used as a therapy for Alzheimer’s, depression, and other neurological medical conditions.”
  • “Studies also show that children who live near railroads, highways, or airports have slower development of language and reading skills. Noise affects children’s school grades, as well as adults’ work performance. Cognitive functions that are mostly affected by noise are memory, problem solving, and reading comprehension.”
  • “… When the children ignore the noise, they also ignore different important things, such as speech and learning.”
  • “After meditating in silence, the brain makes some miraculous changes. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) shows an increased amount of grey matter. ACC is associated with self-regulatory processes. Also, the prefrontal cortex grey matter increases, benefiting functions such as emotional regulation, planning, and problem solving.”

Silence is so important to me. I crave it. I relish it. When I’m at ‘home’ alone, I don’t play music. I listen to the silence as I clean or read, and especially, when I write. I get really distracted with any background noise. In my opinion, leaf blowers should be banned … for many reasons, but the noise is a key one.

I don’t know if this is how I’ve always been. Friends and family may recall but I just don’t remember. Maybe it came after the traumatic brain injury from my hiking fall – trauma can have many varied repercussions. I’m on hyper-alert and am very aware of my surroundings at all times (which is probably why I have sleep issues since my injuries).  (I know, I know… Most of you blame everything on aging… I blame everything on falling down a mountain 🙂 )

(Aha, an hour after writing the above stuff, I actually now remember working at a gym in 2005 doing ‘back office’ admin stuff for members. But the office cubicle was right there next to all the machines. There was music playing all the time… popular-at-the-time, top 10 favorites that just cycled through, repeating all day long. On my lunch break, I remember going to the park across the street and sitting in silence in my car for the whole hour. Yet, in the early 2000s and over the years, I also traveled to lots of far off destinations on tour buses staying in 20 bed dorm rooms and the like, so I was much more adaptable then. Age or brain injury… hmmmm? I’ll chalk it up to brain injury 🙂 Because I used to sleep 9, 10, 11 hours per night… as much solid sleep as I wanted. Ever since my fall, sleep has gone from 2 hour stretches to 4 or 5 hours max or once in a great while, if I’m lucky, 6 hours. It’s one of my most difficult lingering, post-brain injury after effects.)

The questions I pose below are for self-exploration. No need to judge – just notice, be inquisitive about what makes you you. Ask yourself:

When you take a few moments to be in silence, what does it feel like? Does it bring up fear or discomfort? Calm and relaxation? Or does your mind go racing with thoughts? Do you love silence? Or do you feel most comfortable filling the silence with something like radio or television, music or a phone conversation? Do you want to binge on silence, maybe going for a silent retreat once a year? Or do you like to make time for silence every day? Learn more about you.

I teach grounding, centering and guided visualization techniques for body relaxation and clearing the mind to tune into yourself and your needs. Reach out if you would like to schedule a phone session with me.

Wishing that you find your own definition of silence in this busy world.

All the best,

Gina

 

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