The modern world is filled with various kinds of noise. Living in a bustling city makes this fact impossible to ignore. But even if you spend time in a small town, noise can intrude into your life through your devices. With notifications and stimuli from social media and the internet, your mobile phones can periodically and rudely disrupt any attempts to seek out some peace and quiet. Excessive noise and distractions make it harder for people to be attuned to themselves and others, and how they relate to the world.
Here are some ways you can reclaim a measure of silence and its associated benefits in your everyday life.
Reduce the noise around you
Take a glance around your home. How many appliances have low noise as one of their features? Today’s engineers make an effort to reduce the noise output from various products — whether it’s a smoothly functioning helical gear in your car’s transmission or the use of damping controls to absorb vibration in your washing machine.
Manufacturer’s design already reduces some of the noise in your life; you can exert more effort to shut out the rest. If possible, set aside a room in your home where you can find solitude. Empty it of devices and make sure the activities of other people around the house are imperceptible. Leave instructions on the door that they shouldn’t disturb you for an hour or so, and you can experience an effective silent retreat.
Seek out places of quiet
Still, for many people, it’s not possible to carve out a place of quiet inside their homes. Rising costs of housing can force a lot of us to live in rather small spaces; withdrawing to a room might not be an option at all if you have kids.
In such situations, it’s essential to identify a time and space in which you can find silence outside of the home. This could be a local museum, library, or garden if you have the opportunity to hang around at the right time of day.
The solution could also be as simple as taking an early morning walk in the park or around the neighborhood. Find activities to keep your kids mentally stimulated for an hour or two, or arrange for them to spend time with a friend or family member, so you can create that dedicated period for yourself within each day.
Find the right activity
When we are surrounded by noise and subjected to chronic stress, it’s often not enough to simply find quiet surroundings; we also have to refresh ourselves mentally and clear the noise of our own thoughts.
Meditation is one of the most popular practices for this purpose, but you can also experiment with other activities. Writing in a journal, painting or sketching, doing forms of exercise like yoga or tai-chi, or even something simple like taking a long bath or reading a good book can all help you to clear your mind and eliminate internal noise.
Living in the age of noise and distractions, you can discover the power of silence. Integrate it into your life by taking these practices and finding a way to apply them throughout your day.