The Physical, Mental and Spiritual Benefits of Silence
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Summary: Find here fifteen amazing benefits of silence, and how it can improve your physical, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing.
Silence is the best way to know yourself and become self-aware. You habitually engage your mind and senses with the external world to pursue your goals and desires or to protect yourself from external threats. This outward orientation keeps you busy, anxious and restless. It also prevents you from having quiet moments with yourself or knowing what has been going on within you.
Most people remain preoccupied with the external world and hardly pay attention to their thoughts and feelings. As a result, they make many critical errors in their thinking and judgment and remain largely ignorant of their true concerns and their true personalities. As their minds are drawn outward and as they spend most of the time performing various tasks and dealing with problems, people and situations which are mostly beyond their control, they remain distracted and tired
If you want to cultivate discretion, balance and proper perspective of things, you must look into yourself and pay attention to your thinking and behavior. You should know the underlying motivation and causes of your actions, feelings and emotions, why you act or behave in certain ways and what you can do to improve yourself. For that, you have to take a break from the external world and look into yourself with silence and detachment.
TSilence is a powerful way to connect to your mind and know the reality of what is going on inside you or around you. In this context, silence means both physical and mental silence. You practice them by reducing the movements of your mind and body or by stilling them. Both approaches are helpful. In moments of quietness, when you are alone and silent, you become acutely aware of your thoughts and feelings, which in turn make you more empathetic, understanding and intuitive. You perceive the world and people with mindful awareness and wisdom
You can practice silence in various ways. The commonest method involves silencing the speech and thoughts and becoming mindful of your breath or the surroundings. You can do it in the comforts of your own home or in secluded places. It is more effective if you practice it in solitude where you are not disturbed by noise or by people. In the beginning you may struggle to remain silent. However, with persistence you will learn to practice it anywhere, even in noisy places or amidst people.
The benefits of practicing silence
The practice of silence leads to peace and happiness, more so if it is practiced regularly. It makes people practical and realistic in their actions and decisions as they become familiar with their mental states, thoughts and feelings. Many spiritual traditions encourage the practice as the means to self-knowledge and self-discovery. Even a little practice is beneficial since can help you reset your mind and calm your nerves. Spiritual people vouch for the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of practicing silence. The important ones are stated below.
1. It improves your health and vitality: Silence gives you an opportunity to conserve your physical and mental energies, recharge yourself and regain your composure. It is also healing. A few minutes of silence after a long and strenuous day of work will revitalize you and make you feel fresh and energized.
2. It helps you relax and recuperate: Silence takes away stress by giving you respite from people, problems and stressful situations. Noise can be very stressful. Both talking and listening to other people’s conversation can also lead to stress. Silence helps you to experience peace and balance. It also increases your threshold to cope with stress.
3. You will gain proper perspective: When you are busy, speaking to others, emotionally upset, or preoccupied with problems you lose perspective as you become too involved and one-sided. Silence helps you break free from your habitual thought patterns and see things from a proper perspective with reason, clarity and understanding
4. It helps you recover from hurt and pain: Because of its healing nature, silence help you overcome negative feelings of hurt, guilt, depression, worry, anger, anxiety, etc., by letting you introspect and find their causes and solutions. It also helps you endure your suffering with strength and courage and absorb the negativity it causes.
5. It saves you from unnecessary trouble: Silence makes you thoughtful, observant and considerate in your approach and dealing with people. People often find themselves in trouble or embarrassing situations because of impulsive, thoughtless and irrational behavior. Silence helps you control your thoughts and actions and make right decisions.
6. It increases your self-awareness: Silence increases your understanding of yourself, your deepest thoughts, hidden desires, purpose and motivation, as you mindfully pay attention to your feelings and emotions and how act or react in different situations. By knowing who you are, you will have an opportunity to be true to authentic self.
7. It facilitates intuition and deep thinking: Silence opens your doors to intuition. When we are busy or preoccupied with the world, we lose touch with our intuitive thoughts and feelings. Your intuition works better when your mind is silent but you are fully awake and observant.
8. It gives you clarity and insight: We are prone to many cognitive or thinking errors, logical fallacies, habitual thought patterns, prejudices, irrational beliefs and assumptive behavior. Silence gives us an opportunity to gain clarity and insight into our thinking and verify our decisions and conclusions.
9. It makes you empathetic and understanding: People who spend more time talking rather than listening are not good at understanding others as they remain preoccupied with their own thoughts and concerns. In silence you become more empathetic as you will not only listen to words but also discern the feelings.
10. It improves your relationships: Silence improves your relationships with others as you become more observant, thoughtful, understanding, gentle and empathetic. You let people feel comfortable in your presence, speak to you and feel connected to you, revealing their personal stories and innermost thoughts
11. It improves brain functioning: Studies show that the practice of silence improves the overall functioning of the brain, promoting the growth of brain cells and formation of neuron connections. It also contributes to the development of the hippocampus which is responsible for both short term and long-term memory.
12. It establishes harmony: Silence brings you in harmony with yourself and the world around you, as you gain insight into your thinking and behavior and align with your desires, hopes and aspirations. Knowing what you want to achieve in life to realize your dreams, you can set your goals and strive for success.
13. It helps you in spiritual practice: The practice of silence helps us become spiritual, mindful and contemplative. When we withdraw into ourselves into silence and reflect upon the deeper aspects of life, we become aware of the problem of excessive materialism and its impact upon our thinking and actions.
14. It activates your subconscious mind: In silence, you go into the deeper parts of your mind and connect to your subconscious mind. You let it communicate with you through hunches, feelings, dreams, images, and flashes of hidden memories. In the process, you become more creative, imaginative and insightful.
15. It improves your behavior and attitude: Silence gives us an opportunity to know how we cause hurt and pain to others and become better human beings, overcoming our impulsive, selfish and egoistic nature and cultivating virtues such as tolerance, endurance, restraint, patience, compassion, humility, etc.
We live in a noisy world, which is a major source of stress and suffering. Our minds are also noisy as they engage in mental chatter and self-talk. As a result, we remain disturbed most of the time and do not pay adequate attention to what happens in us or around us. We lose touch with our feelings and sensations or how we are affected by them. Our feelings are important. They tell us more about how we are progressing in life and how we are coping with our problems and concerns.
Therefore, it is necessary to withdraw occasionally from the noise of the world and spend quiet moments with ourselves. Your mind is subject to many disturbances, modifications and afflictions. It is also prone to habitual thought patterns, logical and thinking errors, which distort your perception and judgment. Silence helps you become mindful of them and deal with them, so that you can improve your thinking and discretion and make right choices.
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