I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.- Henry David Thoreau
Have you ever felt the tension in your body or heart racing that you know you have to slow down and take some time out? Go out and discover there is another way to live other than the hand held powerless tools we rely on more than life itself.
You might ask the question is silence golden? Resting the mental reflexes is one of the basic human responsibilities. Stress is unavoidable at times in our lives we live in a world of ongoing worry, change and uncertainty.
Our lives are filled with noise and while some noise is good, we do often put up with the bad noise around us too. Pay attention to the noises around you and the pace of your day. Inhale and exhale think about what matters most.
The Need for More Quiet in our Lives
Are you swapped by the everyday demands of life? Life can be a roller coaster and it’s good having lots on the agenda till a point of explosion “I’m fed up! You scream!”.
Silence for me is the need not to worry about everything. It’s the slow down pace which made things quieter and peaceful. Recent studies suggest, that taking time for silence restores the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and conditions our minds to be more creative and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work and lead.
The sound of silence may be deafening for people who thrive online and find being alone a struggle. Think when was the last time you actually experienced a bit of peace and quiet and complete stillness. Maybe it was at night when the stars were out and the whole world was asleep? Whatever that moment was let’s say it’s about carving up our time to find some quiet alone time. Sounds difficult when you have a family, holding down a job and everything else in-between. Maybe it’s time for some
space in-between the whole messiness of daily life.
My love for quiet began before I even knew. Having never set foot in the Middle East, I still recall my heart and my giddy feelings of leaving family and friends. When I set eyes on the empty quarter of the world I had never ventured so far to capture my embrace from the everyday race. The golden sand dunes and rocky desert beckoning from beyond the shore. There’s no place on earth infused with quite much mystery and culture. Most magical of all was the nothingness that happens every day. There were countless occasions looming around where quiet was a step worth exploring.
The Arabian Sea began to be my axis to transform my gloomy days to surround me with sunsets immersed in a place that became a deeper part of me. Beyond the horizon and watching the locals simple delights buzzed a I realised quiet was a good thing for my life. Sand dunes and extreme hot days with the sound of prays seemed to be my calming bread and butter. A newborn baby in my arms and rocking her to sleep was my most magical quiet memory. Often in society we feel quiet means we are shy, strange or just disengaged when in fact it can mean quite the opposite.
Nikki Gemmell’s book Quiet, is a magical escape from the busyness and turns quiet into an island escape through history and stories close to her heart about distractions, screen time and why we have become so noisy and the power of quiet. The distraction of mobile phones I must agree with her is that we need quiet more than ever. Especially with the overwhelming use of social media which is constantly putting stress and worry on us. Do you ever remember a time when you wake up and think I must check my phone? What’s news? Why are we so wired and so much to the point it feels like an addiction to our phones? If you were to cut drugs out of one’s life they may feel a huge difference so why not take away our phones for a day? What would you do or not say?
Recently, I meet Nikki at her North Sydney book talk. Her presence and warm was
calming and I soaked up every word that resonated with me. We both agreed a national quiet day may be the global answer to detoxify from our busyness, screens and never ending to do lists. Maybe if we let our bodies calm, get creative and connect we can rebalance even, almost rewire to energize.
Say no for 30 days
You constantly hear people say ‘they can’t live without their phone”. When I did my 30days (month) of no social media I realised quiet gives us peace of mind and not to worry as much. I discovered that I focused on the things I could control rather the online things that make us feel bad. You only need to catch a plane to see how quickly people switch back on their mobiles to view what has happened since taking off. As a child I still recall my first ever flight on a plane. It was a mystery flight. I could not stop looking around. Today young people’s heads are down and not up looking around. What happens if we leave our heads down too long.? I’m sure they will be ok. I just worry that the next generation is seeing something we are not.
Create a support group
You, realise time moves slower, you start to recharge after you feel burnt out and you really don’t miss out on the things you feared you would. A group of mums were shocked how they would cope without Facebook. Funny enough this group would rather not change their ways to communicate with me. I may have given up a few friends that day but I learnt so much with “giving up social media for a month”. I’d like to campaign that’s it’s not virtually impossible, it’s very possible. I won’t lie it was hard at first and you feel tempted but that fads away.
Detox Your Phone Use
In my experience, what I found with the 30 days of no social media the quiet time you have the more you like it. My relationship with my family strengthened, made me feel more productive, socially I was engaging and personable. I did not feel so alone. I know the internet has given many people avenues to crush the isolation. So I respect that. It gave me a reason to look up again out that bus and talk to the person next to me. I was removed from the gossip, stories and bitchy comments that rule
some people’s lives. That loud noise had ceased in my life and I like it. More and more I shared more connections offline than online. So, here’s to saying no for a month and get beyond the noise.
With social media and the influx of pointless information out there we are a burden to ourselves to the point of anxiety and depression. With many situations, topics or conversations that are out of our control. Too much worrying in the global world and really is space junk that important? Maybe it is time to switch off and lock up our devices. Our nation can do this to be a better place. Here’s to a national quiet day or no phone usage day! Perhaps even try the #30daysnosocialmedia #quietday
Which direction you go is up to you.