7 Reasons to Use The Power of Silence For Your Mental and Spiritual Health
Humans are social creatures, but the benefits of solitude are not to be underestimated. Here’s why you should embrace silence. One of our most basic, instinctive fears is the fear of loneliness. Of course, we are social creatures – our ancestors survived by leaning on and caring for each other and sharing knowledge and resources. But this is a fear that left is over from another time. Our ancestors lived in smaller, more tightly knit groups, and they didn’t have access to the luxuries and pitfalls of technology. Their communication was primarily face-to-face, and they were not presented with the constant distraction of intellectual and emotional stimulation.
Modern life, on the other hand, can give us the illusion of participation. We are constantly inundated with communication without genuine contact and a wealth of information without wisdom. We are simply not built to process the amount of information and socialisation we are expected to do. The dominant narrative of happiness and success is one of constant and relentless productivity, a wildly busy social life, and an endless list of accomplishments that just keeps growing and growing. Extroversion is celebrated and seen as the normal state of personality. If you’re someone who prefers a little quiet and solitude, the people you love may even become unnecessarily concerned about your well-being and see it as unhealthy introverted behaviour. But silence and solitude are incredibly healing for extroverts and introverts alike. Think of your life in terms of cycles. Just like the universe, you need seasons of rest to fully blossom during seasons of abundance. It can’t be summer all year round! Here are some benefits of solitude and silence that will help you rest, grow and heal.
#1. Brain Health
Silence is simply extraordinary for your brain. On top of giving your prefrontal cortex a break from processing stimuli, when you’re in silence, you can tap into something called the brain’s “default mode,” where you let your mind take over and daydream, ponder and get lost in your thoughts. There is evidence that this state also helps to replenish brain cells. The benefits of solitude and silence are endless. But if you’re still fully immersed in your daily life, still checking your phone every few minutes, checking your emails, texting, working, etc., the benefits of silence diminish significantly. Tapping into that silent inner space helps set aside a specific time when you can free yourself from your daily responsibilities and focus entirely on your own development.
All your public masks and social roles are removed when you are alone with your true self and sit with yourself in silence. You’re allowed to be who you are, and along with that, you are free to begin to recognise your true nature. You are not required to be a parent, friend or employee. When you are silent, you are entirely yourself and can begin to access more profound knowledge of yourself and become comfortable with who you are. True mindfulness dawns.
Above all, silence gives you a break. When you remove the constant notifications on your phone, the noise of the television, and even the sounds of crowds and traffic and all the trappings of city life, your mind is given space to breathe. Although the silence can be unnerving at first, it feels like a substantial, cleansing exhale. It gives your mind a real rest, something it’s probably not used to. This rest naturally helps to reduce anxiety and stress levels while increasing inner peace.
Silence makes you more creative! It gives your mind a chance to process everything it’s taken in and gives it time to cook some food. Humans are natural problem solvers, artists and scientists, all of which require a great deal of creativity. Creativity, in turn, requires a lot of silence.
Silence is also a gift for healing. It helps you process trauma and disappointment. Things that need attention tend to come up when you’re quiet, sometimes things you didn’t even know were a problem, and silence gives you time to process them and heal. Think of silence as a river. Once the first layers of mud have been cleared away, the stones beneath the surface become exposed and can also be washed away.
On top of giving you inner peace, silence for spiritual purposes is also good for the soul. As you sink into silence, you begin to understand how everything on earth is interconnected. So, whatever your spiritual tradition, silence is spiritually powerful because it allows you to be both parts of the world and to connect with the more subtle forces at work in the universe.
It may seem contradictory, but silence and solitude actually increase empathy and make meaningful connections with others. Solitude can help you better appreciate the people in your life, diagnose relationship problems and recognise your own behaviours and habits.
In the meantime, you can set aside some time to be for yourself and with yourself. Experience the stillness within you, and you’ll be amazed at how your life changes! Your body, soul, and mind will certainly thank you!