As we saw last week, there are numerous benefits to carving out periods of silence in our daily lives. Given most of us are busy and are surrounded by technologies that make noise, this isn’t easy to do.
Let’s consider some simple ways to cultivate silence. We’re never going to experience complete silence, of course. There will always be some audible sounds (e.g., our breathing, leaves rustling in the breeze, appliances humming), but we’d benefit so much from a break from the louder noises that disrupt our peace.
How to get more silence in our lives
- Establish technology-free times. We’re surrounded by noisy electronic gadgets (cell phones, televisions, computers, stereos, etc.). By establishing technology-free times, such as during dinner and before bed, we’ll have some times each day when we are free from the noises made by these devices. Not only will we reap the benefits of silence from these times, but our families will benefit from uninterrupted interaction.
- Ditch noise-making toys. Most of our children have some toys that play songs, beep, or have sirens that sound. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t take long for these toys to grate on our nerves! By ditching these in favor of low-tech toys, such as blocks, books, dolls, and kitchen playsets, we’ll have a lot less noise in our homes. Check out this list of low-tech toddler toys for many good options.
- Visit quiet venues. It tends to be quiet inside certain venues, including libraries, museums, and art galleries. We can visit these on occasion to get some peace and quiet. Taking our children with us when we visit them is a great way for them to practice being quiet!
- Get out in nature. It isn’t always quiet outdoors, especially in urban areas. However, we will generally find relative silence if we can get in the middle of a large park, up in the mountains, or out on a vacant beach. By getting outdoors we’ll not only benefit from the silence, but from the fresh air and sunshine. It’s even better if we can get some exercise while we’re out!
- Utilize earplugs. If you live in a noisy location (such as near a busy intersection or airport) or have noisy neighbors, then silence can be particularly elusive. In these situations, it can be helpful to purchase a set of really good earplugs. You can use these when relaxing and sleeping in order to get a little quiet.
- Take naps. Snoozing for a few minutes is a refreshing way to soak in a little silence. I’m not talking about drifting off for a couple of minutes while watching TV on a Sunday afternoon; I’m talking about creating a quiet environment and intentionally resting for a bit. Doing this refreshes our bodies and minds.
I’ve been trying a few of these and it’s been great! Experiencing periods of silence is well worth the effort it takes to obtain them.
Do you have enough silence in your life? How do you carve out quiet periods in your daily life?
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