I can take great comfort in silence. I often find myself knocking on the sky and listening to the sound.
As someone who usually tries to drown out stresses with distraction, it hasn’t always come easily.
Taking the time to just sit and ‘be’ takes practice, sometimes it can also be hard work. It doesn’t however, take long to see the benefits it brings. We live in an age where we’re always connected. Our phones are always tapping our shoulders even when we’re not working (sometimes, even more so). We can even catch ourselves checking phones and emails when we have received none, much like when you keep going back to the fridge when you want a snack although you know nothing inside it has changed. But what has that achieved? If anything, the repeated effort has made you more fed up and probably made you hungrier.
For some reason most of us are programmed to crave a distraction from whatever worry is racing through our minds, but not only does it not work most of the time, it can also make you even more stressed. I’m completely guilty of this. I crave distraction so much I end up making myself worse through trying to find the ‘perfect’ distraction. Looking for it can even become a chore, and this is when trouble can start.
When our minds are working too hard our lives can start to slowly fall apart. You can’t help but concentrate on what’s going on, after all it’s probably important. But when hard concentration is whirring around in your head 24 hours a day, how can you expect to deal with it properly when your mind is burning out?
An athlete knows the importance of rest days, keeping the body calm before going all out in training. We also all know how well cars run on empty (I may or may not have experienced this for myself recently). So why does it come naturally to let our thoughts and worries stay in our minds constantly? When you think about it, it doesn’t really make sense. The same can be said for a ‘must keep busy’ attitude which can indeed help at times, but it doesn’t last forever. Your mind needs to have a rest. It’s a vital skill to have, to be able to pause. Just to stop a little while and give our mind the chance to catch up. Some people find it more helpful to have nothing in their minds. Concentrating on pure silence and just being in your own body. Others can find it a helpful tool to just have the one thought or question, and allowing the mind to process it all at it’s own pace rather than our usual ‘must find a solution now! ASAP!’ attitude. It’s amazing how clear things can suddenly become.
Then there’s the art of both distraction and resting the mind at the same time. You’re a very lucky person if you have the opportunity to practice this. I love getting lost with someone in thought, or just being and I’m usually smiling while I’m doing it which is a great bonus. Sharing your time out sometimes is an underrated tool for calming the mind. You have the benefit of doing something different with your time and also the chance to ‘be’ in yourself, all with the comfort that comes with being around someone. If you’re not careful, you might just have some fun too.
Listening deeply to silence, the air around you, what the world is doing around you acts like a mini reset for the mind. Even if the heavens have opened and you have thunder and lightning over your head, listen to that. See what it’s telling you. It’s only when it is too late that we realise we should have just stopped a minute.
Give yourself a break. Take your mind away from the cogs that are starting to breakdown. You’ll find that everything falls into place much easier when your mind can work on it properly after a good rest.