Rev. Connie Habash (author of Awakening from Anxiety) explains the positive value of welcoming silence instead of fearing it.
Most of us don’t value silence – yet it has many blessings. Discover the benefits of giving yourself the gift of silence (and how to actually cultivate it).
Ah, modern life. It’s so full of busy-ness, to-do lists, and distraction – very little silence. There’s so much media around us to watch, play with, and listen to. It’s easy to fill every day with scrolling and watching, reading, and tuning into shows or podcasts. Plus there is the sound of traffic, leaf blowers, airplanes, vacuum cleaners. So much activity, and so little silence.
We may be a little uncomfortable with silence as a result. What do we do with it? Our bodies start to feel restless and tense, trying to figure out what to do with all that quiet. So we keep filling life with noise.
That noise isn’t limited to what is outside of us – internally, there’s constant chatter in our minds. Although it may be a very familiar friend, there’s a cost to all this inner dialogue and thinking – it expends a tremendous amount of energy.
Put together all the external, boundless noise in our world and the constant chatter within us, and it’s no wonder we often feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
The Gift of Silence is stepping out of that cycle of constant distraction, activity, and thinking. In the inner quiet, we receive many blessings:
- Energy – The energy we were wasting on thinking and constant external stimulation is reclaimed and renewed within us in silence. Imagine how much vitality you may discover from all that recovered energy!
- Ease – All that noise and agitation causes tension in our body and mind. When we finally give ourselves a little silence, the body has an opportunity to relax and let go.
- Creativity – If we don’t allow open, quiet, unstructured time, new ideas can’t emerge within us. Our brain is too engaged with all of the distractions. Recent studies have discovered that some boredom – which includes silence and letting go of “doing” for a while – increases productivity and creativity.
- Peace – If you’ve ever been stargazing outdoors in the mountains or desert on a dark and clear night, you have probably felt the palpable sense of peace. We can’t have inner peace without quieting the internal noise, too. Silence outside of us helps us find that silence within that brings peace.
- Inner Knowing – How can we possibly hear our intuition, or the inner, quiet voice of Spirit, when we’re inundated by external distraction and internal, incessant chatter? Once you access a bit more inner silence, you’ll be able to hear the gentle guidance of the Divine more clearly.
There may be many more blessings in silence that you haven’t discovered yet, because you haven’t valued it enough to seek it. There is a vast realm of your own True Self within waiting for you to find it in the quiet. Meditation is a wonderful way to discover that silence inside of you, but you can also experience it walking through the woods or down a quiet road, sitting in the sunshine, arising before dawn, or opening a window late at night. You can even use earplugs when the external circumstances don’t cooperate!
But don’t expect silence to be completely quiet. In meditation, the mind will probably still have thoughts. To find that inner silence, don’t try to shut those thoughts down: instead, seek and focus on the quiet spaces between them.
Give yourself the Gift of Silence; open to receive the ease, energy, peace, creativity, and inner knowing, and see what other gifts may show up in your life.
A Spiritual Guide to Living a More Calm, Confident, and Courageous Life
Competent, spiritual people suffer from anxiety and depression too: Spiritual people often find that their own expectations of living a life dedicated to a higher power makes them more susceptible to high-functioning anxiety. Sometimes, traditional relaxation techniques either do not work, don’t last, or, in some cases, actually increase their anxiety.
The missing keys to managing anxiety: Psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and interfaith minister Rev. Connie L. Habash shows us a way to transform our perceptions using mindful awareness, in order that we may live divinely inspired lives. In over 25 years as a counselor helping spiritual people overcome anxiety, Rev. Connie has taught that it takes more than chanting mantras, stretching, or relaxation techniques to calm anxiety. It requires a transformation in perception, moment-to-moment body awareness, and a conscious response to thoughts and emotions.