Many years ago, I cycled through Connemara in the West of Ireland. I went across a stretch of moorland that was so deserted, I didn’t hear a single bird. It was the first time in my life that I “heard” absolute silence.
Silence can be almost impossible to come by these days. Your mission today is use the power of silence to skyrocket your productivity, your happiness and even your longevity.
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Task 1: Unplug (literally)
Noise doesn’t always come in terms of volume. Sometimes it’s the amount of distraction and the relentless firing of impulses to our senses which causes stress.
We’re surrounded by screens and neverending newsfeeds all day. Make a point of switching off (not just muting) all electronic devices occasionally. At night, disable all WiFi, which has been proven to disrupt sleep. Feel the power of silence.
Task 2: Entertainment
Music, TV, Netflix… we have an endless supply of movies, songs and albums at our fingertips these days. I love music, but it can get to a point when it becomes a constant background noise.
Switch off everything and sit in silence for a while. Try meditation if you feel uncomfortable at first (no, you needn’t empty your thoughts altogether. Try gazing at a candle flame for 10 minutes). Increase to at least an hour a day. No distractions, except something quiet like readin knitting or similar.
Task 3: The power of silence in nature
You may not find a deserted moor, but even just the absence of modern human life noises counts. Try and get to a place where the only sounds you can here are natural: Birdsong in the forest, waves on the beach – but no cars or building sites.
Do these three tasks for at least a month and notice the difference. The difference it makes can be profound.