Silence Is Golden

Five Ways to Find Healing Moments

Here’s the big idea: Noise is bad for you. During my career as a pioneer in the simplicity movement, I have taken note of numerous studies that link unwanted sound to increased levels of stress. Even low-level noise has been associated with increased aggression and other mental health problems, as well as poor sleep, high blood pressure and heart disease. A few of the reporting organizations include Cornell University, the Acoustical Society of America and the World Health Organization.

The following tips for increasing moments of silence in daily life will help us all feel better and live healthier:

Start each day with silence. Before running headlong into another day, do something relaxing for 12 minutes upon waking. It may be meditating, stretching or reading inspirational literature. According to the National Institutes of Health, our cortisol levels (“the stress hormone” produced by the adrenal glands) are highest between 6 and 8 o’clock in the morning, when we first get out of bed. Most people have coffee and turn on the news. That’s the worst thing we can do. Studies have shown that only 12 minutes of quiet in the morning can bring down the stress-hormone levels, and get you off to a better start that will last all day.

Eat at a table, without watching television or reading. Mindful eating helps us to enjoy our food more, prevents overeating because we are tuned into our body’s satiety signals, and allows the body to metabolize food more efficiently.

Try driving in silence. Because there is so much noise that we can’t control, find small ways to create silence that you can control. The car is a wonderful place to get in touch with your thoughts and just be with yourself. Silence is rejuvenating.

Create a silence retreat at home. Set aside an evening at home with no talking. Turn the phone ringer off and don’t answer it; turn off the television. Don’t run any extra machines. Try to have the family do this together, or trade nights with a partner in taking the kids out to dinner and a movie.

Practice silent exercise. Exercise without iPod, magazines or video. If possible, exercise outdoors. Silence helps us pay attention to everything the body is doing—breathing, muscle function and posture. Silence helps us listen to the helpful signals our body is giving—to slow down, go faster or straighten up.

Janet Luhrs is the international bestselling author of
The Simple Living Guide and guides people toward simpler, more enjoyable lives through her Simplicity Series Seminars, at

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Join in a Climate Strike Event

People have been conducting strikes as a method of demanding change for many years.

Sustainable Scrubbing

Cleaning the house shouldn’t be a health hazard, yet studies have linked many popular cleaning products to asthma and other respiratory ills, developmental problems in young children and breast cancer.

Cetacean Liberation

Canada’s Parliament recently passed legislation banning the practice of breeding and keeping whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity.

Growing Pains

Cultivation throughout the U.S. is becoming more difficult because of unpredictable weather patterns, leading to higher prices and lowered productivity.

Cola Quandary

Vietnam is among the biggest contributors to plastic waste in the ocean, and Suntory Holdings, a giant Japanese beverage company, has joined its rivals Coca-Cola and Nestlé to encourage new recycling strategies to fend off such actions as the European Union’s move toward outlawing single-use plastic items.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags