Do you have days when you just want to put on the noise-cancelling headphones and shut everything out?
Let’s face it. The world is a noisy place and sometimes we just need to take a break. With constant noise and distraction, we sometimes miss what is most important because we are distracted with the noise of something else.
2020 (and now into 2021) has been especially difficult because of the constant drone of political rhetoric, the sad reports of the pandemic’s impact on the world, and the inability to move around because of lockdown rules. The restlessness coupled with pandemic fatigue is starting to take it’s toll.
I have an empathic personality and if I’m not careful, I find myself shouldering other people’s problem to a point where it becomes too heavy to bare. Recently, it has felt overwhelming.
So, I just bought myself a new set of noise-cancelling headphones.
The yearning for peace and quiet, has more significance than just taking a well-deserved break. It is an important and integral part of growth, renewal, and joy of living. You need quiet time to rediscover what is most important to you and how you may want (or need) to rebalance your priorities.
The unfortunate reality is that our culture frowns upon silence. We are so wrapped up in FOMO (the fear of missing out), that we often use external sources to distract ourselves from personal thoughts, either happy or sad. We move right past them without acknowledgement.
We are doing ourselves (and our families and friends) a disservice by not honoring quiet time. In addition to the much-need recharge that it gives us, we really must take time to identify and release negative emotions. We are holding those thoughts for a reason and if we don’t take time to address and release them, they are likely to grow in magnitude and become much bigger down the road.
So today, we’re going to just be quiet. Today, we are going to give ourselves a special gift.
One quick and easy way to give yourself the gift of quiet is to carve out 10-15 minutes to meditate, go for a peaceful walk, or just sit quietly. Longer is better, but 10-15 minutes will do! The point isn’t how long you’re quiet, but that you give quiet time its proper place in your life.
There’s no easier way to nourish your body and soul. So, grab your noise-cancelling headphones and let's go!
- Sit comfortably upright on a chair (or the floor), feet on the floor, hands resting on your thighs. Take two or three deep breaths, then close your eyes.
- Starting from the top of the head and moving down, mentally scan your body, noticing any tension. Begin to pay attention to the natural rhythm of your breath.
- As you become more aware of your breath, follow the rising and falling sensation without changing it in any way, silently counting breaths. Inevitably, your mind will wander. This is one of the first lessons of meditation. When you notice that a thought has distracted you, let go of it and gently return your attention to your breath. Over time, you will learn to step back and just observe the thoughts. The same goes for sounds. Rather than trying to block them out, let them come and go.
- Take a few seconds to allow your mind to do whatever it wants. (You may find your mind is very quiet.) Noticing the sounds around you and bringing your attention back to the body, gently open your eyes.
Silence is golden, and there is no easier way to nourish your body and soul. Shut the world out for a few minutes every day and you will be surprised at how good it makes you feel. You deserve it!
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