We live in a world of noise.
Not all of this noise is bad. There’s the noise of your children as they play, the noise of friends eating dinner together.
Noise comes in many forms, though, and sometimes it can be overwhelming: a stressful job, a difficult relationship with a family member, too many personal commitments with too little time to complete them. All of these stressors and more create noise in our lives – noise in our minds and hearts.
The noise of stress, overwork, a difficult relationship, or the general busyness of life can rob us of our peace. Especially as the holidays approach, it can be hard to find peace in our hectic lives.
TAKE A BREAK FROM THE NOISE
When there’s too much noise in your life, a way to counteract the noise is to find silence. Sometimes you need to find the silence by being silent yourself.
When we talk about “being silent,” this does not mean stop talking to your family or friends. It does not mean to stop speaking out about things that matter to you, or to simply let difficulties or challenges in life roll you over and crush you.
To “be silent” is to take a break from the noise of life. If we equate “noise” with the busyness and stress of simply living, then to “be silent” or to find the silence is to give yourself a moment’s respite away from these stressors.
It’s not usually possible to simply quit a stressful job just like that, and we’re not advocating that you ignore your family or other responsibilities. But it’s important to take care of you. Here are some ways that you can find some silence away from the noise:
Take 15-30 minutes first thing in the morning when you get up to meditate and to begin your day in silence. Don’t check your phone, your emails, don’t read the newspaper. If you need to get up a little earlier so that you can begin your day away from other people, do so. Take a few minutes before you begin your day to meditate on things that are important to you or what you’re thankful for.
End each day in a similar way. Turn off the TV, computer, and phone, and read a book or meditate on your day before you go to sleep. Choosing peaceful, happy, or thankful thoughts right before you to go sleep can help set you up for a more peaceful beginning to your next day when you wake up.
Take a break from the noise during the day, especially if you feel overwhelmed. Even a five-minute walk by yourself can help you re-set your inner balance.
Exercise. Yes, it can be hard to find the time to exercise, but exercise does not have to be long or complicated. A twenty-minute walk around the block every morning can be helpful. Exercise helps blood flow and can help you clear your mind.
Listen to music. No, music is not silence, but use the music to replace some of the daily noise. Turn off the TV news and replace it with 30 minutes of your favorite uplifting songs or relaxing instrumental music.
Be thankful. Sometimes we feel stressed and overwhelmed because all we can see is what’s urgent in our schedules or everything’s that going wrong in our lives. Focusing on your blessings can help your mind to relax and refocus on what really matters to you. Make a list of what you’re thankful for. It can be anything, big or small. Are you thankful that your children are getting good grades in school? Are you thankful that you have warm clothes for the winter? Are you thankful that you had your favorite coffee this morning? Write down anything and everything that you’re thankful for.
During this holiday season, take a break from the noise and find your moment of silence.