Is stress driving you round the bend? Do you feel something has to give in your life? There is a simple remedy: Silence
Check out your soundscape at the moment. What do you hear?
I bet it’s not waves lapping at the shore, or a dawn chorus! It’s more likely to be traffic noise, or music, or the neighbors TV, or a distant police siren, or voices in the street – especially if you live in a big city.
What I remember most about my one visit to New York was the fact that I could always hear a siren somewhere in the distance. There was always the sound of an ambulance racing to hospital or police rushing to a disaster. This leads to noise stress.
Some of the noises we are subjected too are unavoidable. But maybe you choose to be in a noisy environment? Let me ask you some questions: Do you play music a lot of the time? Do you leave the TV playing whilst you do other tasks? If so, you are adding to noise stress.
Our central nervous system responds to each sound. In response, hormones course through our body, our heart-rate rises or falls, our blood pressure changes.
Some sounds are so calming, they act as lullabies. Imagine camping near a stream in the wilds. You can hear the soft wind in trees, a brook tinkling nearby, the evening song of birds: your mind expands and your body relaxes. Even just imagining such sounds can make you feel more relaxed. But ad to the mix the crunch of steps closing in, or the roar of a tiger and your body immediately responds with high alert!
Sounds are outer noise. But there is also inner noise.
Take a moment to observe what thoughts are rushing though your mind. Most likely you’ll notice a jumble of thoughts. Some may be worries, “Oh, what’ll happen if …” Others may be plans, “I must ring her and let her know…” And then there are random thoughts, memories, flashes of insight, melody jingles, images – rather like a crazy warehouse stuffed to the roof.
Particularly pesky are the planning thoughts. The more stressed we are, the more often they appear in our brain. Mostly because we are worried about forgetting them. A good way to deal with them is to write them down.
Other sticky thoughts are ones that are fuelled by intense emotion, such as anger, jealousy, or fear. The underlying emotion triggers the particular thought again and again. One way to deal with that is to pinpoint and mention the relevant emotion.
Another way to deal with pressing thoughts is to do a full-on workout. Try a run, a yoga class, martial arts training, an aerobics workout.
A great way to create space and silence in your mind is to meditate. If you aren’t sure to meditate, check out my article How to Start Meditating: 10 Important Tips.
They key to peacefulness is to let go of both outer and inner noise to eliminate stress.
If you want to simplify your life and reduce stress, try silence.
Here are some suggestions that will help you reduce stress:
- Eliminate background music. Only play music if you are going to listen to it with full attention.
- Turn the TV off if you are not watching it.
- Sleep with earplugs if your street is noisy
- Clear your mind with daily exercise
- Meditate daily for at least 10 minutes.
Enjoy these related articles: