The Beauty of Silence

Written by: Shalyni Paiyappilly

Today’s world is filled with so much sound where the beauty of silence is seldom appreciated. Amongst the great sages and gurus, silence is often taught and observed to cultivate one’s spiritual connection. For most modern-day folks, moments of silence are resisted as it is deemed as uncomfortable. However, when silence is welcomed, physical health and overall well-being can be positively impacted.  Some of these benefits include:

       ·      Reduced blood pressure, which can help prevent heart attack.

  • Improved immune system.
  • Improved brain health due to growth of new cells. A 2013 study from Brain Structure and Function found that two hours of silence could generate new cells in the hippocampus region of the brain, an area linked to learning, remembering, and emotions.
  • Decreased stress due to a lowering of blood cortisol levels and adrenaline. Furthermore, according to a 2006 British Cardiovascular Study in Heart Magazine two minutes of silence relieves tension in the body and brain and is more relaxing than listening to music. This was attributed to changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.
  • Improved sleep – In a 2015 study from JAMA Internal Medicine, older adults experiencing insomnia found relief in the form of improved quality of sleep and less daytime impairment after undergoing a 6-week intervention of meditation where the observation of silence was practiced.
  • Promotes stable hormone regulation
  • Prevents plaque formation in arteries

Consciously choosing to be with silence and taking a break from the tensions of home, work, and school can be quite nourishing. To calm the mind and restore balance it is a good idea to create moments where there is a space of time with no distractions. Incorporating regular silent moments can bring the following additional benefits:

·    Creativity – When allowing thoughts to wander with no judgements, inspiration   

may arise. Solutions to problems may suddenly appear, and/or new ideas which can then reignite sense of joy

·    Awareness of self and environment – When silence is found to be comfortable, a

a distinct shift in the ability to be more self-aware is likely to happen. In addition, you can better appreciate the world around you, including your immediate environment.

·    Reflection – Silence allows for the gift of reflection that is beyond mere

introspection. After meditating in silence, one may feel more motivated to heal significant relationships that have been damaged, embark upon a self-improvement journey, and/or live a healthier lifestyle.

Silence is a luxury that is free and always available. So, if you are ready to improve your mind, body, and soul—- try inviting silence into your daily life for at least 2 minutes or by attending a silent meditation or a full silent retreat. You might just be pleasantly surprised in what you discover.