The Art of Being Silent
Herman Melville wrote, “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”
A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function, revealed the effect silence has on the brains of the mice: when mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus, which is responsible for emotion and its relationship to newly forming memories.
Are human emotions being affected by a lack of silence in our lives? Would our emotions be more stable and our anxiety levels lower if we had more silent time in our day? Experiences of silence are essential to life—even for mice.
Unfortunately, today’s world bombards us with constant input from a variety of sources, including a multitude of devices, that inhibit our experience of quietness and peace.
You can always create more quietness in your life with some simple changes:
- Switch off your phone, computer and TV
- Create a quiet space in your house to which you can retreat
- Spend more time in nature
However, quietness is not just the absence of noise—and anyway, we’ll never escape the world’s cacophony completely unless we turn the mind within to real silence. Real silence is more than just being unaware of the noise of the world—it’s an inner quality with its own character, a profound quietude that is restorative and refreshing.
How to enjoy silence anywhere anytime
What if we could achieve inner silence in the midst of a busy noisy day.
Transcendental Meditation cuts short the cycle of mental chatter. The TM practice produces a state of deep rest in the body that reduces stress while settling the mind into profound restful alertness—inner silence—in which the deep roots of emotional imbalance are dissolved.
Day after day TM cultures our minds with silence until it is established as a permanent feature of our daily life—an effective antidote to the anxiety inherent in a non-stop noisy world.
“I think 99 times and I find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.”Albert Einstein
Experience Inner Silence:
Contact a local TM teacher
About the Author
Vanessa Vidal is the national director of TM for Women in the USA