If you’re a senior citizen or soon to be one, you probably remember calmer, quieter days. Maybe you’ll remember playing out of doors for hours on end and enjoying the beauty of animal life, flowers and trees, and changing scenery.
You might have lived in the days before television. If you did, you remember long evenings spent reading or in front of a comforting fire, enjoying conversation. You might have spent time playing board games or cooking with family members.
You might even remember work as a pleasurable experience. Digging up a plot for a vegetable garden, moving lawns and weeding flower beds, feeding animals or exploring meadows, forests and fields looking for grasshoppers or birds or garden snakes.
Today’s life is filled with electronic beeping and ringing. We answer phone calls, e-mails, texts and tweets, but don’t have time to talk with friends or family members. Our life has become noisy and busy—too busy.
Don’t you long for solitude and quiet? You should. You probably do. But how can you recapture that blessed state known as silence? You may even be addicted to television or radio noise. You may only turn off the machines when you sleep. It’s time to re-evaluate.
Here are some of the benefits of solitude and quiet and Ask Granny gives some reasons why you might want to add quiet time into your schedule.
The Benefits of Quiet
Scientists and Social Scientists all agree that quiet is good for us. Studies prove over and over again that we humans benefit from times of quiet and times alone. Here are some of the benefits:
When alone, people feel free of social constraints. They may be relieved to enjoy a space of time when they must only please themselves.
Spending time alone has proven to facilitate creativity. Writing or drawing may help to log creative ideas and thoughts.
Alone time can serve to increase desire for time with friends or family members at a future time. Feelings are experienced more intensely.
Time alone enhances the desire for spirituality. In quiet, people are more able to seek a higher power.
Quiet times can lead to a self-renewal, a serenity and sense of freedom that is beneficial.
Researchers have noted that those who spend quiet times are more able to live positively, getting along better with others and experiencing less depression.
Those who practice solitude may develop a greater degree of concentration and focus.
Those who enjoy quiet often learn more self-acceptance.
I think you’ll agree that all of the above consequences of time alone in a quiet setting are wonderful things. But, how do we achieve that elusive state of quiet?
Here are some ideas to get you started on including quiet spaces of time into your schedule.
Find a relaxing exercise routine that suits you. It may involve progressive muscle relaxation in which you consciously tighten and release specific muscle groups five or ten seconds at a time.
Spend a certain period of time, five minutes at first, doing nothing but sitting in quiet and thinking or meditating. You might want to focus on a verse, a poem, a memory, or a certain place as you do this.
You might enjoy going through a guided imagery session in which a teacher or a recorded message leads you through a series of thoughts and images to a place of deep relaxation.
Take a walk in a beautiful, natural environment. Look for beauty and consciously appreciate it.
Find a yoga class at your appropriate level. Gentle stretching and posing in various positions can give your body a healthy boost.
Give yourself permission to stay silent for a period of time. Feel the freedom of not having to make small talk with others or react to others for that portion of time.
Take a sabbatical from the most demanding of your social media life. Avoid phoning, texting, messaging, interacting for a set period of time.
Go on a “date with yourself.” Plan and spend three hours on your own. You might go into a public place, but refrain of interacting with others. Eat a meal, take a drive, go to a spa, see a movie alone, enjoy reading at the library—enjoy the freedom from expectations of others.
In this busy world of ours, everyone needs to factor in the gift of solitude and quiet. Recognize your need for quiet spaces and be intentional about adding them to your schedule. The benefits are positive in every way: mentally, emotionally and spiritually.