Wanna Become More Intelligent? Enjoy The Silence!
In the year 2011, tourism board in Finland was running a campaign which promoted the silence in their country. They used the slogan “Silence, Please” with many photos and landscapes, deciding that instead of saying that the silence is empty and quiet, we should embrace it and make it a good thing. It is actually true that many people who live in big cities are becoming chaotic, distracting and loud. Yet, according to the research, a certain amount of silence (daily) is highly important for our brains.
”We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Mother Teresa
Here are things that happen when we spend some time in silence every day.
Let’s start with the experimental animals
The study which was done back in 2013 showed that when mice were exposed to silence two hours per day, they developed new brain cells in the hippocampus. Hippocampus is a region of our brain which is associated with emotions, memory, and learning. Simply, silence could literally grow your brain even if you are not a mouse! (smile)
Our brains are analyzing in the moments of silence
A study done in 2001 shows that when the brain is resting in silence, it is constantly internalizing and evaluating information. It further shows that the time of resting is almost like “a conscious workspace”. Our brain relaxes when we aren’t distracted by noise or business. As Herman Melville once said, “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”
Silence is proved to be reducing stress
Noisy environments can lead to chronically increased levels of stress hormones. Florence Nightingale, a British nurse and social activist, once said that “Unnecessary noise is the cruelest absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” Nightingale further explained that unnecessary sounds could cause distress, sleep loss, and alarm for recovering patients.
Noise pollution has been found to cause high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as damaging overall health and hearing. Loud noises raise levels of stress by activating the brain’s amygdala and releasing stress hormone, cortisol. Silence can release tension in the brain and in our body. One study even proved that two minutes of silence can relax you more than the so-called “relaxing” music.
Silence is able to restore brain’s cognitive functions
According to the attention restoration theory, our brain recovers some of its cognitive functions when we are in the environment with lower levels of sensory input. In our stressful days, sensory input is at every angle. Our attention resources are drained easily. This can further lead to distraction and mental fatigue, as well as the struggle to focus, solve problems and create new ideas. Good news is that we can restore our cognitive functions this way! Try walking alone in nature – brain will rest and you will feel amazing!
Silence helps us think better (and become wiser)
When we meditate, daydream or fantasize, our brain rests. But if we add silence to this, the brain won’t have any problems when we think and create. In order to accomplish this, we must break away from the distractions that keep us remaining on the shallow surfaces of the mind. Silence is one way to get there.
Our brain is amazing and an inexhaustible source of information. Scientists even say that it isn’t explored more than 10%! It is a brilliant thing to know that we can improve its functions, especially if it is something as pleasant as silence.
Whether you are a busy person and can’t commit yourself to rest enough, or you just prefer loud noise, try to “import” silence into your life. You don’t have to languish in the corner and feel depressed, just hang out with your favorite book or write down important things – in silence. In those precious moments, try to breathe deeply. Relax as much as you can and be grateful for everything you have. This will help you feel better and happier with your life.
In the end, you should be aware that the silence will expand your sights and help you think better – it is surely worth trying!
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