Conquering Stress and Illness with Silence

Pilates Studio

by Garen Bennett Robie

Silence has an energy to it like no other source. It has the power to get people to think and to act. It can help slow the mind down.  In our current cultural climate many people feel the need to fill the void of silence with needless chatter, TV, music, or some other type of noise. Quiet can be disconcerting, it can make people feel uncomfortable and alone if they are not used to it.  However, as Author William Penn praises: “True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”

Modern science confirms what Penn knew hundreds of years ago: silence affects our mental, emotional, and physical health. People don’t get enough of it.

Dr. Jack Westman, professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, writes, “Noxious levels of sound are stressful and may evoke a whole range of physical responses.  The most common are an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.”  Noise,  especially noise over 30 decibels is associated with high anxiety, stress, depression, and addiction.

Practicing quiet, whether through retreat, meditation, or just a few minutes unplugged, directly counteracts these effects.  Silence lowers blood pressure, boosts your immune system by making it easier for your body to fight of invading bacteria and other pathogens, and allows for good hormone regulation and  interaction of all the hormone related systems in your body.  Stepping away from noise also directly reduces stress by curtailing cortisol and adrenaline levels.

In addition to relieving physical ailments, quiet also allows you to deal with life’s challenges in a better way.  It is a way of reaching another part of your mind not possible when going about your daily routine. This other part of your mind is connected in every way to the world around you, and with practice you can tap into this knowledge.  We turn our thoughts, focus inward, and gain the power we need to refuel our minds. When there is silence there is time for introspection, time to allow our true self to speak.  As Confucius said, “Silence is the true friend that never betrays.”

Julie Seward Lazaraton, of Living through Wellness, LLC, has taken this knowledge put it into practice. A master of Reiki, Reflexology, and a certified member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, Seward Lazaraton periodically hosts quiet healing retreats where she engages participants in a variety of exercises and activities built around silent reflection.

Learn about the  services offered by Living Through Wellness, LLC.