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Seeking the stillness

By Brandy Browne

Can we all agree that 2020 was FULL of noise? It was a year where it was difficult to achieve a feeling of peace for sure. The American Institute of Stress has reported that around 77 percent of people report physical symptoms of stress in their every day life (retrieved from https://whisperroom.com/tips/7-benefits-of-silence-why-we-need-less-noise/#:~:text=Silence%20Provides%20You%20with%20a%20Sense%20of%20Calm&text=The%20American%20Institute%20of%20Stress,relax%20and%20reduce%20stress%20levels.). Balancing the chaos with periods of stillness and silence help you to recharge and reduces stress levels. 

In fact, taking periods of silence each day has many benefits. It improves focus. It heightens awareness of one’s surroundings. Today, I ran by myself for the first time in a while. No music. No conversation. No distractions. As I ran, I tuned in to the sound of my breathing and what was happening in my body. I felt the energy coursing through my legs. I felt my shoulders tense up, and I made a conscious effort to relax them. I opened my mouth wide, and my jaw cracked and popped. 

As I ran, the sounds of snow falling from the trees filled my ears. I could hear small animals rustling around in the brush. I could hear birds chirping. Water flowing in the stream off of a trail near the lake I was running at. Only through being silent was I able to gain so much from the world around me. 

Periods of silence have been shown to increase patience. After I take time for stillness with a run or a long hot bath or some quiet self care, I am always able to be more patient with the little things that come with having small children. The whining, sibling bickering, etc. just seems more manageable. 

According to UPMC Health, studies have shown a correlation between the amount of noise a child is exposed to and the levels of academic performance. An increased exposure to noise has been linked to poor academic performance. Unfortunately, the saturation of electronics and media in today’s society has made it incredibly easy to be surrounded by noise all the time. This makes taking periods of silence and stillness as a family critical for increased learning to happen. 

As we tiptoe into 2021, we should all make a concentrated effort to drown out the noise and incorporate periods of silence and stillness into our day. Here’s to a calmer 2021…

References

Whisper Room. (2020). 7 benefits of silence: Why we need less noise. Retrieved from https://whisperroom.com/tips/7-benefits-of-silence-why-we-need-less-noise/#:~:text=Silence%20Provides%20You%20with%20a%20Sense%20of%20Calm&text=The%20American%20Institute%20of%20Stress,relax%20and%20reduce%20stress%20levels.

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