I've been a lover of solitude and silence most of my life, probably because I get overstimulated very easily. Although I love going out to eat with family and friends, I usually come home exhausted form the onslaught of stimulation to my senses. There was, however, a season of silence that was incredibly painful; my years of infertility. I yearned for a baby and longed to hear my little one call me "Mommy." Ironically, our first adopted child, Sean, was only able to utter a handful of words until the age of three. Those were silent years fraught with sadness and frustration.
Once Sean learned to speak in sentences, he never stopped talking! Sean didn't learn to sit still and watch movies until the age of seven or eight. His wiggly little body never stopped moving since birth. Oh my poor overstimulated senses! Running to my quiet space each morning is what gave me strength to face each new day.
Science has proven that silence benefits our minds and bodies. In the solace of nature, taking a walk alone can sharpen your memory. People who walked 40 minutes three times a week had brain growth in the hippocampus (2011 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Another study indicated that two hours of silence could create new cells in this same area of the brain that is also associated with our emotions (Brain Structure and Function, 2013).
Amazingly, only 2 minutes of silence can relax our blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain (2006 study in Heart). I have personally experienced this. If you sign up for my weekly blogs, you will get a free download of how I found immediate relief through silence and reading Scripture. Other health tips are listed as well.
Spending just a few minutes enveloped in silence can also improve your sleep and refine your senses for better mental focus (studies cited above: www.medicaldaily.com, 5 Health Benefits of being Silent for Your Mind and Body, by Lizette Borreli, September 2, 2016).
I have discovered that the main way to calm down my senses is to seek that daily respite of golden silence. I often turn to some of my favorite Words of God's love letter and meditate on them in the fullness of quiet. Sometimes I meditate on the characteristics of Jesus. This ushers in stillness. We need to seek God in stillness (Psalm 46:10). Once your outer and inner chaos are still, you will enter into the presence of God. Silence is quieting our outer distractions, stillness is the quieting of our souls.
I yearn for silence to quiet my busy thoughts, relax my muscles and for stillness to quiet my soul. Now that I've tasted the benefits, I long for it throughout the day. It feels like home: comfy and cozy, a restful place of security. It is a sacred space that revives every layer of my being. I finish feeling deeply refreshed and joyful. Truly, the "joy of the Lord is my strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10)
On Sunday, April 14th at 6:00 am PDT, 9:00 am EST, I will be a guest on the "Queen's Stand Up" Podcast. You may dial in on your phone (929-477-2476) to hear me share more on the importance of taking a daily respite. I hope you will listen! The host, April Diane, offers a recording of the show anytime thereafter.
I hope you take a few minutes today to immerse your heart, mind and soul in silence. and stillness. You will reap the rich rewards of better health! Please come visit me again next Friday at www.sparklinghope.net.