The Benefits of Listening to Nothing
When was the last time you sat in total silence? We are constantly accompanied by background noise as we fill our ears with music, podcasts, TV, radio, news, and the sounds in our own heads. Research has linked noise pollution to negative health effects, and at the same time, uncovered the benefits of silence.
4 ways silence benefits the brain:
- Silence relieves stress and tension. Studies have shown that two minutes of silence is more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music, based on changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.
- Restore cognitive resources. Modern life, with its constant sensory input, can put a burden on the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part of the brain involved in high-order thinking, decision-making and problem-solving. Silence, or environments with low sensory input, help to restore the balance.
- Self-Reflection. “Default Mode” happens when your brain isn’t stimulated or distracted. When the brain is at rest, it will sort and gather information. This helps with self-reflection.
- Stimulates brain growth. Studies have shown two hours of silence a day can produce new cell creation in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory, emotion, and learning.
5 ways to practice silence:
- Take a walk
- Take a bath
- Go for a drive
- Listen to a guided meditation
- Set a timer for two minutes