The Surprising Benefits of Quiet Time

by Kimberly Posey Latimore
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Shhh! Do you hear that? It’s nothing to fear. Listen. Now, absorb the silence. Do you feel uncomfortable or creepy?  Engaging in silence doesn’t take skill. Anyone can do it. The more you practice the easier it gets.

In a world filled with noise, music and electronic devices, it’s often difficult quieting your brain. Silence is wonderful. Try unplugging from the noise for least five minutes to further calm your mind. It’s necessary that you make time for Quiet Time. Silence is exclusive and luxurious. It’s a key to unlock deeper forms of calmness.

Have you ever sat in silence?  If not, try it. This morning I sat in my living room listening to the silence. The sound of the oversized clock on the wall ticked louder than I remembered. The ceiling fan whizzed as it turned. In the background, the refrigerator hummed with occasional noises from the ice maker as the ice dropped. Outside a garbage truck made an annoying beeping sound until the worker retrieved the trash. Let’s not discuss the sound of the Jets that flew and sometimes gave the house an occasional shudder. Then, there’s that neighbor across the street who mows his lawn at 7:30 am with no regard of the time. I was so used to hearing these things that I never took the time listen to the silence.

You, my dear friend don’t have to live in fear of silence. You have unlimited access to the power of silence. So, here are a few tips to help you incorporate Quiet Time into your daily routine.

1. Quiet Time Rejuvenates the Mind.

The next time you have a dreadful day, sit in silence for five or ten minutes. Small doses of silence rejuvenate your brain. You gain mental clarity. Inspiration happens when you take time out for silence. You discover what’s important. Many times you can get distracted by the surrounding noises that you forget what matters most. Quiet Time keeps you connected to your inner self and renews your life with a purpose. Whenever I had to write an essay, I took small breaks of Quiet Time to recharge. That way when I came back to the paper, I gained a new perspective.

2. Feeling Overwhelmed

Whenever you get overwhelmed, commit to some Quiet Time. It is within the peace where you can unwind, daydream and notice the simple things in life. Take a few minutes to yourself. Meditate before you start the day. Ponder on something positive, a new job, your dream home or a trip you added to your bucket list. Read an empowering book. Feed your mind. Make it a habit to spend time alone.

3. Quiet Time Enhances the Ability to Focus

I can recall driving on the freeway realizing that I’m lost. This was before GPS. The first thing I did was lower the volume on the radio. That’s because the noisier the environment was, the tougher it was to concentrate and find my destination.

4. Improves Learning and Memory

The next time you find yourself unable to grasp something try quieting your mind. Silence improves your memory and gives you a deeper level of learning. While in college, whenever I needed Quiet Time, I’d sit in my car or find a quiet place in the library. When the brain is at rest, it’s able to integrate and process information.

5. A Little Self-Reflection Never Hurts

If you’re constantly distracted by ringing phones, TV, social media, you lose moments from your life. Try self-reflecting to promote self-improvement. Before going to bed, write in a journal for ten minutes. Write things regarding your day, thoughts or feelings. Savor the silence. Allow your thoughts to wander.

6. Regular Quiet Time Reduces Stress

Silence reduces stress. Quiet time helps create a sense of calm. Silence decreases your mind of clutter. Go for a walk. Take a brief nap. Listen to soft music. Yes, I know that contradicts the purpose of Quiet Time. But the truth is, music soothes the soul and reduces stress. Engage in breathing exercises. It calms your mind. Take a hot bath; it’ll release tension. Give yoga a shot. It reduces blood pressure and relaxes your body.

7. Learn to Appreciate the Silence

It’s never a simple task sitting in silence. Silence will speak to you if you let it. So, relish your thoughts and embrace the quiet. Get some freedom away from the noise. You don’t have to escape to a desert island to enjoy silence. You can find it anywhere. It’s within you. Silence nourishes your mind. Appreciating silence boosts your sanity. I encourage you to practice relaxing in the silence and discover the small things in life. So, close your eyes, and relax your mind.

Sometimes constant noises create frustration, anxiety and weariness. I remember a time when I used to take care of my then school-aged nephews and we’d play the ‘Quiet Game.’ The purpose of this game was not only to determine who could stay quiet the longest but to allow them to understand the importance of silence. It’s okay to sit in silence. Quiet Time doesn’t have rules. It just takes practice. Silence is where you experience calmness and notice the simple things in life. I enjoy Quiet Time and so should you.

When you quiet your mind, you see the beauty that surrounds you. Appreciate what you have and reflect on what makes you happy. On your drive to work, turn off the radio and listen to silence. After traveling home from work, don’t turn on the TV. Silence your cell phone or turn off all notifications. Take a nice relaxing shower. Sit on a park bench with no interruptions and people watch.

If you’re less distracted, you’re more productive, less stressed, and your brain will appreciate you. When you quiet your mind, you have a greater understanding to finding solutions to questions and unresolved issues. Silence your distractions and allow your mind to set goals or even daydream. Now, go out there and reclaim your peace.

Kimberly Posey Latimore
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