The Healing Power of Peace and Quiet
Chaos can be appealing. It can be fun, exciting, and even come with a bit of adventure. Think about the atmosphere of a bar — highly chaotic and highly fun. However, that is not an atmosphere conducive to a healing soul. Silence is a very healing tool, and it is one of the ways to create peace within your life. As you start your new, sober life you’re going to want to utilize the introspection gained from silence. Looking within yourself to fully understand your triggers, the root cause of them, and how they manifest, teaches you to work through your emotions healthily. There is so much power and discipline gained when you learn to stop allowing your negative emotions to have a lasting impression.
The Science Behind Silence
A recent study addresses how silence does wonders for calming the body down. The study’s main focus was to address how music affects the brain. The researchers noticed the calming effects of silence when they looked at the results for the subject’s cardiovascular and respiratory regularities after two minutes of silence. They came to this conclusion when they realized that passively listening to music raises a person’s breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. However, when checked again after, the randomly inserted two-minute intervals of silence the subject’s breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure had decreased showing increased relaxation.
The interesting thing about that is the two-minute intervals of silence had a stronger relaxation effect than when the intervals were increased to five minutes of silence. This means that as you begin to explore the joys of peace and quiet, you can get amazing results by randomly inserting two minutes of silence throughout your day. This is also an amazing technique to use when emotionally triggered. Stepping away from a situation and allowing yourself two minutes to breathe, allows you to make more mindful decisions rather than split-second decisions. This can be very helpful because split-second decisions are usually decisions that are pretty life-changing and sometimes cause regret. Mindful decisions take away room for regret and give you back your power by allowing you to be present in a decision rather than just replaying past behavior patterns.
From Silence to Mindfulness
Mindfulness is defined by SMART Recovery as, “State of being present in the here and now; being in the moment, being in your body; not being on ‘autopilot’.” Gaining a moment-by-moment awareness of the body can be rather hard to acquire and maintain, but it is worth it. When a person has a better understanding of their feelings, they can communicate their day-to-day strengths and limitations. This takes away unnecessary stressors, allows people to give them a helping hand, and holds them accountable to not overextend themselves in stressful situations. Mindfulness can only be acquired when a person slows down, takes a moment of silence, takes cautious breathes, and assesses their physical and emotional selves.
These may seem like small things, but they change the way a person shows up in the world and process their emotions. As you start to practice mindfulness, here are five questions to ask yourself during your random intervals of silence:
- Is my breathing anxious or calm?
- What am I feeling? (Answer in three clear, descriptive words)
- Where does this feeling stem from?
- Is this a fleeting thought or a reoccurring one?
- How can I best show up for myself right now? (One thing you can do at that moment)
These questions may not seem like much, and they may even give a childlike feel in the beginning. However, sometimes you just have to go back to the basics. They are a lot more challenging and useful than they seem.
Silence: the First Step to Healing
Silence can sometimes be hard to partake in, but as you are healing you must create a lifestyle that allows you to be able to have moments of silence, even if it is in random two-minute intervals. These intervals do wonders to rest the brain and body, but they also do wonders in ensuring that you are making the best decisions for yourself consistently. By prioritizing your emotional needs, you are ensuring that you can show up as the best version of yourself for everyone in your life both private and professional. Silence also does a great job at helping the body naturally balance stressful feelings, so that you can become a calmer person, even when you can’t partake in silence.
You don’t feel the healing effects of silence overnight, nor do you become a master at mindfulness overnight. It takes time, effort, practice, and sometimes outside support. Especially because sometimes, as a person goes on a mindful journey, they realize the pain silence can bring to the surface. They might even realize that evading silence is a coping mechanism, and this coping mechanism plays into substance use disorder. Substance use disorder can be extremely hard for individuals and families to combat alone. It can feel even harder in chaotic environments. It does not have to be a lonely and painful process. Mountain Peak Recovery is here to help. Located in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains of Utah, Mountain Peak Recovery is the perfect place to retreat to create that peace and quiet you so badly need. If you or someone you love is dealing with a substance abuse issue call (801) 824-8829.