By Vanessa Voltolina
Often, we’re in awe of family and friends who seem to do it all, yet are calm, cool, and collected—and most of all, fulfilled. While it’s difficult to know for sure, it’s likely that this person in your life takes time to embrace a few moments of silence each day.
And it’s worth taking a page from this book. Quiet time enables us to analyze the events of our day and release negative feelings. Even if you’re far from a yogi, giving yourself the gift of silence not only aids in relaxation, but in living a more joyful existence. How? Silence and mindfulness have been linked with enhancing positive qualities such as relaxation, patience, and memory, just to name a few.
There are many benefits associated with quiet, but some can directly impact your overall wellbeing. Here, three important ones to be mindful of—physically, mentally and emotionally—from Jennifer Aarons, director of spa operations for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1. Better Physical Health
The “multiple health benefits” associated with quiet time are nothing to ignore, says Aarons. Just ten minutes of silence each day can facilitate good-for-you physical boons, such as “lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, increase immune system” and more, she says. When we become more cognizant of our thoughts, feelings, and moods—heightened internal awareness—we’re able to manage emotions, such as anger and frustration, facilitating decreased blood pressure and heart rate. Gaining a positive, more focused outlook by ridding yourself of negative baggage from the day can reduce stress, and therefore help boost your immune function.
2. Less Stress
Decreasing stress levels is likely a to-do on your “be happier” list. And spending quiet moments with your thoughts (and practicing mindful meditation) has been linked to decreased hypertension, anxiety and depression.
Though it’s challenging, many of us can take the first step to physically unplug from the normal distractions of our day (think TV, phones, computers). But, how about the internal noise? (We’ll bet you’ve taken at least one vacation to unwind, but ended up stressing about work the entire time.) Feeling less stressed and more fulfilled—mentally and emotionally—can be done by quieting both your surroundings and your mind and doing “your best to let go of the issues bothering you,” says Aarons.
3. Improved Communication
If you are very extroverted, love to give your two cents, or maybe are having a difficult time connecting with a loved one, silence can be just what the doctor ordered. While it may seem counterintuitive, remaining quiet can actually open up the lines of communication by increasing your listening skills. “When you’re quiet, you learn to listen,” says Aarons. “There is a certain comfort in silence that is often only experienced with loved ones—people you can spend time with without the need to converse.”
You might also like:
How Silence Boosts Productivity, Reduces Stress & Improves Health
The Power of Turning Off & Tuning In: 3 Ways to Give Yourself the Gift of Silence
Give Yourself the Gift of Silence Through Ayurveda & Shirodhara
Why Recess Shouldn’t Stop in Grade School: The Benefits of Taking Breaks & How to Find the Time
5 Steps to Yoga-Based Meditation