“I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. A thoughtless word hardly ever escaped my tongue or pen. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. We find so many people impatient to talk. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discernment of truth.”—Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
The world can be loud and over stimulating at times. With televisions blaring, iPods singing in our ears, phones alerting us incessantly and other constant bombardments into our personal space, it is common place to assume silence may not be necessary. In fact, silence may appear to some as a sign of something negative.
However, there is great power when each of us is able to become comfortable with silence from time to time. Whether it is finding a few moments to yourself in the middle of the day, or unwinding in a quiet bedroom with a book at night, silence can be quite restorative.
1. Know Yourself
When you become comfortable with spending moments of silence with yourself, you simultaneously become aware of your needs, desires, genuine feelings and why you feel certain things at particular times. For those who have a difficult time becoming still, it is often because they do fear what will enter into their minds. Once you master your mind, you put yourself in the driver’s seat.
2. Discover Creative Thought
A few weeks ago I shared an article which claimed that each and every one of us is capable of being creative. I wholeheartedly agree, and in order to find our creativity, we need to allow ourselves time to become quiet so that ideas can formulate.
3. Allow Others to be Heard
When we are with others we can also become silent and achieve very rewarding results. We are all human. We all want to be heard, truly heard, not just appeased. So when we allow others to share, and turn our undivided attention to them, we strengthen relationships, build respect and show consideration.
4. Become More Observant
While attending any event, sitting down at your favorite coffee shop or stepping back a bit at a gathering, when we silence our words, our senses of observation are better able to take a look around and see what is really going on. By choosing to take the time to talk less and see what’s around us, we aren’t wasting our focus trying to figure out what to say next.
5. Clear, Rational Thinking
Whenever you are in doubt regarding what to say, slow down, don’t speak immediately and formulate your thoughts. Come to a rational conclusion about what you feel, why you feel it, how to express it and whether or not it is necessary to express it.
There will always be a time to talk and share our voices, but there should also be a balance involving silence. The benefits may be gradual, but trust me, you will eventually see them come to fruition in your life.