Shhhhh…Silence Is Good For You

The last time I experienced total silence…nope, I can’t remember. Truth is, I usually do anything to avoid silence. I lean toward noise to drown out the pinging thoughts in my head and to avoid the feelings of disconnection. As a native New Yorker, noise served as a backdrop to my life. After moving to Connecticut, I missed the bustle of the city in the background to feel comforted, connected to something bigger than myself.

Silence to Connect

Then I started reading about the benefits of silence on the human brain and was intrigued. The brain is nurtured in silence — physically and psychologically. Silence can prompt cell development in the memory and sensory centers of the brain, attuning us to our real connections to the world.

Silence is the Next “Must Have” Luxury

The travel industry has taken notice. In 2018 there are a multitude of getaways to unplugged destinations and silence retreats. No longer the province of yogis or monks, silence has become the next “must have” luxury. Here’s a sampling of the hotels and spas that now offer places for quiet contemplation:

Mandarin Oriental Spas: Silent Nights each December. No music, no talking and silent therapists.

L’Auberge de Sedona Spa: Quiet Mind massages; no talking therapists, just breathing techniques to help calm the mind and flower essences to help turn off the chattering brain and sink into a blissful state of “now”.

Sensory Deprivation Tanks: cocooning in a soundproof pod, floating in a warm bath of Epsom salts at The Lodge At Woodloc in rural Pennsylvania.
Silent Meals: At Emerito, a “digital detox” hermitage in Italy, silent meals are offered daily.
Guided Meditation: Hotels are making meditation more accessible than ever. Park Hyatt New York partners with MDNFL, a renowned meditation studio, to offer private meditation sessions with instructors in the privacy of your room.

Silent Hotel Rooms: The Hotel Regina in Paris and the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre in the Netherlands are the most recent recipients of the “Quiet Hotel Award” by Quiet Room so you can now find silence, and no hallway noise, in your hotel room.

The “No Talking” Bracelet: The Alpina Gstaad in Switzerland offers guests a “silent bracelet” to wear which alerts staff and other guests that you are practicing contemplative silence while on the property.

An Entire Island Goes Silent: A true day of silence is experienced on Bali for Nyepi Day when complete silence is practiced by locals and visitors alike, from sunrise to sundown. A Hindu holiday, it’s respected by all on the island, including hotels and resorts. The island shuts down to promote contemplation: no traveling, watching TV, listening to music or working. SOURCE: Orbitz, 7/2017

Silence Challenge

Silence is not just a lack of noise, but a dynamic state of being. In silence we truly reconnect to the world, not that pinging of a cell phone with another Facebook alert or news notification. Freedom from noise can quiet the mind and unifies our deepest thoughts, reconnecting internal rhythms to the motivations that feed the soul.

I recently gave myself a “silence challenge” which includes being in silence for an hour a day and sleeping without TV or music. It was hard giving up the “womb of noise” initially, but as I got into this challenge some amazing things started to happen. Ideas started to pour in, lots of them…for my business, for health, for fitness, for life. Through this challenge I’ve realized silence is not an empty state, but one full of answers.

Challenge Yourself

You can get answers too without traveling the world. Here are a few ways to incorporate silence into your day:

Early morning walks or an afternoon walk in the park.
Disconnect: turn off the notifications on your smartphone and be selective about how you check in. Put your phone on silent mode more often.
Get up early when the rest of the world is sleeping, read, journal or do some form of meditation or yoga.
Don’t check your phone or computer for a least an hour after rising.
Enjoy the quiet…

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