The world can be a noisy place. There are noises from the outside world that we cannot control in addition to the clatter we allow into our lives. From television to radio and mobile devices, we often turn to these distractions without thinking. Is it with purpose or to drown out our own thoughts because there is discomfort with silence? If our thoughts prompt our feelings and we are then moved to action, how is downtime and/or silence factored into the day? There’s no substitute for stillness. It need not be a prolonged, anxiety filled time. However, an awareness of how much we use noise to keep us separate from our inner selves can also be a profound awakening.
I frequently see people walking with headphones while also communicating on their phones. At the gym, almost everyone, me included, is listening to our music or watching/listening to the TVs and if not on an instrument of your choice, then there is background noise. Sound is everywhere, some unwelcomed and some that gives us information and calm. Notice when or if ever, you choose to be present and connected in the quiet?
Noise as a distraction affects us in many ways. Is it entertaining or numbing, educational content or a static din? While there’s no reason to subject yourself to unnecessary clatter, does inserting your earpieces protect or separate you from your environment? Is it an automatic response in your day or is it specific to a time/place?
Drowning out thoughts and emotions you may find uncomfortable or overwhelming can also complicate those same issues by delaying your attention to them. By tuning out noise and embracing silence, you may be surprised at emotions that might have been suppressed and are now free to flow.
Opting for a distraction free early morning is a good start. Refrain from turning on the TV until the evening, or limit it to specific programs or to your gym workouts. We have more technology and tools at our disposal than ever before and we are at choice in how we use them. Remember that silence can be golden too!