The world can be hectic at times. It seems that the more advanced our technology becomes, the more things we have to keep crammed into our heads. The more we become connected to others, the more that connectivity becomes a distraction from many of the tasks we are trying to accomplish. For these reasons, mindfulness and meditation have become part of a daily practice for many people.
Stillness and silence, in fact, can be their own form of meditation. Simply by being alone with your thoughts, even if those thoughts are not directed or focused on any specific thing, you will begin to see positive changes in yourself.
The Benefits of Silence
By being in solitude, you are able to reap the benefits of a quiet mind. Stillness and silence can bring you — and keep you — in the present moment. This can help eliminate some bad habits that become like second nature to many of us, such as overeating or constantly multitasking. It also helps with our mind’s ability to focus and notice details. Additionally, there are benefits for your body when you are still: aiding digestion, calming the nervous system, and even lowering blood pressure.
The largest benefits, however, are mental. The clarity that comes from even brief moments of stillness cannot be overstated. You will find even after a few days of practice that you are able to focus more intently on things without flittering thoughts. Your mood will improve naturally, and you will find yourself happier than before. You may be able to follow your train of thought better. You might even find more energy to cross things off your to-do lists. Most of all, you will find your willpower increasing day by day. An interesting side effect of this is that the more you do it, the more it happens naturally.
The Prescription for Stillness
There are a few ways you can apply this to your everyday life. The simplest and easiest way is to focus on one thing at a time. The practice of being mindful will result in stillness in almost every case — without you needing to apply any extra effort at all.
Here are a few tips:
- Try and find a time each day to just be alone with your thoughts. No books, TV, phones, etc. No access to digital distractions.
- For a more meditative approach, focus on your breathing as you are practicing stillness.
- There really isn’t a goal here. The goal is just to be still and silent to “reset” your brain for a little while. When your mind wanders, bring it gently back to the silence.
- When you aren’t practicing stillness, try your best to focus on one thing at a time. Avoid checking your phone constantly, trying to multitask, or doing things like eating or driving without being mindful.
You will find that being in solitude can be difficult at first. Pushing through it, however, will open doors inside you that you never even knew existed. And that is what life is all about. Setting aside the time to just sit and be with yourself is the first step. Whether you add meditation or other practices to that is up to you — the benefits of stillness are there regardless.