The Italians have a concept for piddling around known as “La Dolce Far Niente,” which means the sweetness of doing nothing. The Finnish Tourist Board developed a campaign to promote Finland as a destination – to entice tourist to visit and experience the natural beauty and silence of their country.
Besides just giving our ears a break, silence offers us important health advantages. It boosts overall well-being and has notable psychological and emotional benefits, too. There are science-backed studies that have found silence helps brain cells to regenerate. Besides stimulating brain growth silence and solitude also improves memory, relieves stress, and helps fight insomnia.
Truth: For some of us, the notion of doing nothing comes easy. Others, however, not so much because of all the day-to-day “noise” in our lives.
What about you? Are you practiced in the art of doing nothing? We promise it doesn’t require a trek to Italy or Finland, to find your own way practice the many benefits of being still.
Here are a few tips you can try and find ways to cultivate silence:
Take walk outside – Go solo or, if walking with a friend, try to walk at least a portion of the way in mutual silence. Spending time outdoors helps us reconnect with nature also allows our minds to have space to take a quiet “time-out” and keeps us in the present moment. Stop. Look. And, ah, listen.
Engage in deep breathing exercises – Each day make time to pause, and breathe deeply. Doing this helps to calm your mind and alieve “monkey mind” at the same time. Making it a daily practice expands the capability and creates a proactive intervention.
Practice mindfulness and meditation – There’s a lot of conversation about the need to curb our use of electronic devices – there are even apps to help us build greater awareness of usage rates. What about also taking time off from reading, writing, or (gasp!) even speaking? Daily mediation promotes wellbeing as you work to control your breathing, thoughts, intentions and awareness. When you are ready a silent retreat can help to take your practice to the next level.
So, what are your favorite ways to entertain silence and master the moment? Share them with us on our Facebook page.