How would the quality of your life change if you introduced quiet time among your daily habits?
To find quiet time can be a challenge nowadays, and yet it’s key to your well-being and creativity.
It is certainly a challenge given the hyperactive world we live in. Demands come our way all the time. We jump from deadline to deadline. We are multitasking and wonder if there is such a thing as work-life balance, besides in our fantasy world.
Thus, having time for ourselves seems to be a luxury we can’t have access t0.
We pay a personal price when we forgo of quiet time. We experience stress and fatigue. We become more sensitive. We lack joy and happiness. Relationships get strained.
Now, if this is a prevalent condition in your life, you’re in trouble. You are not running your life, but life is running you. And maybe it’s even running you over…
That’s why finding quiet time, is what can rescue you and improve dramatically the quality of your life. The good news is that it’s accessible at all times, it’s free and it pays huge dividends.
Discover the Benefits of Quiet Time
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review even highlighted how the busier you are, the more you need quiet time. And the benefits sustained silence provides are significant:
- It restores the nervous system
- It sustains energy
- It improves the ability to learn and memorize
- Clear and creative thinking
- New ideas emerge
Wouldn’t you have a happier, more productive and harmonious life if you’d get the benefits of some quiet time during the day?
A major benefit of finding quiet time is that we stay in silence. That, in turn, allows us to listen more carefully.
The Two Most Important Benefits
First of all, silence allows us to listen to ourselves. When we stop the noise and the frantic life around us, we are able to connect with ourselves. We can turn within.
In fact, when we connect with ourselves, we are able to become aware of the chatter occupying our mind and the quality of our thoughts. We are able to connect with different parts of ourselves and notice if we are experiencing any discomfort, fear, insecurity…
Noticing what are thoughts and our emotions are, helps us to take care of ourselves, to discern, to understand what’s really going on. We can then make the decision to redirect our thoughts and our emotions. We have more clarity, to make the best decisions.
As a result of attentively listening to ourselves, we are also able to listen with quality to other people. Instead of interrupting or jumping to conclusions, we can appreciate our interlocutor’s point of view, to ask questions that further dialogue and probing.
In fact, the sustained silence we find in quiet time, allows us to connect with ourselves and to build rapport with others. The quality of the relationship with ourselves and others improves and so does our performance, our impact and our sense of fulfillment and happiness.
How to Find Quiet Time and Practice Silence
Here are some suggestions on how you can find quiet time and practice sustained silence:
- Take a morning walk. Walk around the block or, if you can, go to a nearby park and become aware of the sounds surrounding you. Walk slowly, feeling the ground under your feet. Then find a spot where you can sit down for a few minutes and gently observe your surrounding using your peripheral vision, observing what you see from the corners of your eyes. At some point, you will notice how your breath has slowed down and how relaxed you feel.
- Practice Meditation. Making meditation a daily habit is certainly the best way to experience the benefits of finding quiet time and silence. It increases your self-awareness, it quietness your mind, it improves your capacity to focus, it increases your experience of harmony.
- Schedule quiet time in between activities. If your day is punctuated with meetings, schedule some quiet time in between activities. This will allow you to regroup, to rest your mind, to connect with yourself. You can sit down, close your eyes for some moment, and take some deep breath, and focus on the rhythm of your breath.
- Disconnect from the online world. During the day, take the habit of not having phones or computers nearby you. Schedule time when you are not checking your emails, or news, or your social media feed.
- Schedule mini-sabbaticals. Make sure you get downtime. It might be an hour, or an afternoon every week, or a few days every three months. Schedule time that is for yourself, during which you can go and visit a museum, or even go to a silent retreat (if you dare to go deep into the silence experience…).
These are only some ideas to get you started. Some will apply more than other to your life. You will find your way to practice silence, and noticing the benefits that it brings to your life. What matters most is that you make a decision to make sustained silence a regular practice in your life. Because, once you have become aware of the importance of silence and quiet time, to find the way to practice it becomes your task.