By Vanessa Voltolina
For many of us, our early-morning alarms are the beginning of a daily rat race that ends when we crash on the sofa late in the evening, exhausted.
In order to reflect and re-balance during these crazy days, adding silence to the list of to-dos can be surprisingly helpful. Silence allows us to be present with our thoughts and feelings; embracing some quiet time has even been known as a boon to relationships, mental clarity, and overall health.
As someone who lives a high-intensity life, you may be thinking that taking time for silence is, well, a waste of time. Trust us, it’s not! In fact, taking a few minutes daily helps you become more centered and productive, and is easier than you may think! Just 10 minutes of silence each day not only fits into your schedule, but can make a noticeable difference in your outlook on life.
Don’t believe it? Jennifer Aarons, Director of Spa Operations for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ, offers six tips to seamlessly incorporate silence into your otherwise hectic day-to-day schedule:
1. “When you wake up, sit on the edge of the bed with your feet on the floor, close your eyes, and welcome the day,” says Aarons. “As you move from sitting to standing, be cognizant of your body’s every motion.”
2. In the shower, close your eyes and breathe in the steam from the hot water. “From your toes to the top of your head, clench and release each muscle,” suggests Aarons. (This clench-and-release technique can be used in virtually any silent, contemplative situation.)
3. “On your way to work, in your car (or other form of transportation), do not listen to the radio,” suggests Aarons. This also means forgoing the audio book, news, and weather report. “Sit in silence and become more aware of the journey.”
4. “Instead of taking an hour for lunch, use ten minutes of your break to sit in silence,” she says. This means you’ll still be able to nosh for 50 minutes—just be sure to add in this brief—but vital—quiet break. “When thoughts come in your head, use a key term to remind your mind to remain silent.”
5. Find it difficult to unwind after a hectic day? Create a ritual to shed some of the thoughts, emotions, and stressors from the office to be more present in the off hours. “After your work day ends, take time to release the day before you walk into your home,” Aarons says. Consider a quick walk around the block before you enter your home, or spend a few minutes breathing deeply while still in your car.
6. Make bedtime sacred. “Embrace the silence of night before sleep,” she says. “That means, no TV, no music, no noise.”
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