“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~ Lao Tzu
Sound is constant. Whether it’s in the background or in your face, our culture produces a lot of noise. Finding slices of silence are few and far between for many of us with complicated lives (myself included). Noise becomes yet another byproduct of a busy life.
If you’ve decided to slow down, how do you deal with the constant barrage of noise? I believe we need to be attentive to how noise affects us and design our lives to coincide with our intentions. If you choose to live more simply, have you reassessed how you deal with noise?
(This list was adapted from How to Find Some Quietude In Your Life.)
- Rise early
If your day is so busy that you just can’t find the time to be alone and to have stillness and silence, getting up a bit earlier can be a good solution for some people.
- Late nights
If you’re not into early mornings, late nights can be just as peaceful, when everyone’s asleep.
- Get out into nature
Sometimes households and offices can be a bit noisy and chaotic. To escape the noise, get out into nature as much as possible. Pay close attention to everything around you, instead of blocking it all out.
Try this very simple meditation: close your eyes (after reading the rest of this paragraph) and pay attention to your breathing. Notice your breath as it enters your body, and again as it goes out. Your mind will probably stray — that’s OK. Just pay attention and keep doing this for a minute or so. Gradually increase the time you do this as you practice. It’s nice to get into a comfortable position, but not so comfortable you fall asleep!
This exertion of energy helps release stress and gets the blood flowing to your brain — giving you some of the best thinking you’ll do all day.
- Take a break and take a walk
Every hour or two, take a break from working. Then take a walk, to get the blood flowing. It’s fine to just walk around your office or building, but if you can get outside into the sunlight and fresh air (or less-than-fresh air), it can be helpful.
Yoga can be a great quiet-time exercise to quiet your mind and body.
If you haven’t been reading as much as you’d like, finding some quiet time in the morning (or evening) can be a great way to work reading into your routine.
There’s something therapeutic about writing in a journal and if you make it a daily habit, it can be one of the best things you do all day. It gives you a way to reflect on your life, on the things you’ve been doing and the things you want to do. It records your life so you can look back on it later. And it brings clarity to your thoughts in a way you might not find without writing. Blogging can be a great form of journaling.
It’s nice to get a massage now and then, or exchange massages with your significant other. Use massage oil and candles and relaxing music to create a great atmosphere.
- Museums, art galleries, libraries, gardens
If you live in a city, it can be hard to find zones of quietude. But, they do exist in libraries, museums, galleries, and private gardens. Find those places in your city and use them as oases.
- For those with kids
Many of these things can be difficult if you have kids to take care of. Some suggestions: take advantage of the early mornings or late evenings when they’re sleeping and trade kid-watching duty or get a babysitter for a short time each day.
How do you carve out time for quietude in your life?