When it’s noisy, I can’t think. My mother used to say — I can’t hear myself think!! Now, these many years later, I get it. When the dogs are barking (frequent!), and the phone is ringing, and someone (or 2 someones) is talking? I’m hopeless.
That’s when I want to be sitting on the deck. Just sitting. Not even meditating, but that too. I want to be outside, in the green aerie that’s our deck, surrounded by trees and birds and sky. And noisy as the birds are, it still feels like quiet.
Noise is everywhere, even when you’re not paying attention: “dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and hair dryers can all reach or exceed 90 dBA.” At 120 dBA, you experience pain… Me? I take ear plugs to the movies. They’re too loud!
So, obviously I’m anti-noise. When we bought our new dishwasher, we sported for one w/ a low noise rating, even though it was more. And if I could afford a less noisy hair dryer? Believe me, I’d buy one!
Until then, there’s the back deck. Where the (loud) birds may be noisy to some, but whose bright banter comforts me.
Almost as much as sitting, still, in the spaces between crows calling to each other, and mockers trying to impress each other. I don’t need recent research to confirm the benefits, although it’s interesting.
Finland, for instance, is counting on people paying for silence. Using the image of the country’s ‘quiet’ as a tourist draw, hoping that the promise of a place where quiet is the norm will lure paying customers.
What I know about silence began w/ my attempts at meditation, just sitting in silence. Of course, the mind (at least mine!) is never quiet. But finding a space in my day for silence became a source of comfort.
Research, again, bears me out. Silence has a longer impact on the brain that does noise. Noise is forgotten, but silence? Over time, it builds new cells, neurons that are useful. And that, my friends, is amazing. Not to mention the slowing heartbeat, the softer breathing, the settling of tension out of the body.
So I’m voting for silence, w/ my ears. I’m trying to drive w/out music (at least some of the time). And sit on the deck w/out electronics in hand. Because, again, I know it comforts me. Like a cool drink of water in the hot Oklahoma summer. Or a soft warm quilt on a chilly night. The appropriate counter to what ails me. Maybe you, too ~