Silence can boost the production of brain cells. This benefit will strengthen your hippocampus and improve your memory, keeping your mind in tip-top shape. Your short and long-term memory will also get better, along with your risk for dementia. Even just two minutes of quietness will prevent heart disease by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. You’ll also feel more relaxed, making it easier to sleep at night. Have insomnia? Get rid of background noise.
In a world of smartphones and technology, silence is hard to come by. Our days are full of notifications, television, and everything in between. Many people even prefer background noise.
For some, quietness feels strange. While it might feel weird, it can actually help your health. Here are five ways silence can benefit your mind and body.
The 5 Health Benefits Of Silence Are:
1. Brain Cell Growth
Lectures, movies, and conversations are great tools for mental stimulation. But did you know that silence can also help?
According to a 2013 study in Brain Structure & Function, quietness increases the production of brain cells. It’s the brain’s way of preparing for upcoming mental challenges. The silence actually stresses out the brain – in a good way. 1
2. Better Memory
As your brain makes more cells, your hippocampus will get stronger. This is the part of the brain that’s responsible for both short and long-term memory. Spatial memory, such as navigation, is also controlled by the hippocampus. Finding your car keys depends on it!
Additionally, it’ll decrease your risk of dementia, which is caused by brain cell damage. The growth of new cells will keep it at bay.2
To strengthen your brain, embrace periods of silence. Sit in a quiet space when you’re trying to learn something new. The lack of noise will actually increase your brain function and help you focus.3
3. Heart Protection
Silence is amazing for the heart. A two-minute pause can reduce your blood pressure and heart rate, which are both risk factors for heart disease. Even your blood circulation will improve.
It’s better than meditative music. Certain tunes can help heart rate, but they won’t have a major impact on blood pressure and respiration. Quietness, however, will improve all of the above.4
Stressed out? Bask in a moment of silence. A two-minute pause will promote calmness, relaxation, and inner peace. For a greater effect, extend the pause to five minutes.
Often, people relax by listening to soothing music, like jazz or classical. Quietness actually has a greater effect than meditative melodies. This is caused by the sudden release of attention, which leaves a person in a relaxed state.5
So, the next time you’re feeling tense, find a quiet room. A few minutes of silence will do wonders.
5. Better Sleeping Habits
Silence is crucial for healthy sleep hygiene. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the best rest possible.6 Avoid extra noise, like music and television, to create a quiet sleeping environment.
Achieving silence through meditation can treat insomnia. According to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, it enhances the relaxation response and improves mood. Meditative exercises are also linked to a calmer nervous system. Together, all of these benefits encourage healthier rest.
You’ll be on your A-game throughout the day. Mental alertness, concentration, and focus are just some of the benefits of quietness.7
Take time to savor the silence. If you live in a big city, consider soundproofing your walls. Going to meditation classes and hiking trips will also help you escape the noise.
References [ + ]
|1, 3.||↑||Kirste, Imke, Zeina Nicola, Golo Kronenberg, Tara L. Walker, Robert C. Liu, and Gerd Kempermann. “Is silence golden? Effects of auditory stimuli and their absence on adult hippocampal neurogenesis.” Brain Structure and Function 220, no. 2 (2015): 1221-1228.|
|2.||↑||What Is Dementia? Alzheimer’s Association.|
|4, 5.||↑||Bernardi, Luciano, Cesare Porta, and Peter Sleight. “Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and respiratory changes induced by different types of music in musicians and non-musicians: the importance of silence.” Heart 92, no. 4 (2006): 445-452.|
|6.||↑||Address Your Sleep Issues. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.|
|7.||↑||Black, David S., Gillian A. O’Reilly, Richard Olmstead, Elizabeth C. Breen, and Michael R. Irwin. “Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances: a randomized clinical trial.” JAMA internal medicine 175, no. 4 (2015): 494-501.|