Shh… Can you keep a secret? I just found a new and original way to reduce your stress levels.
Shhhhh… Can you tell what it is?
It is silence. Plain and simple peace and quiet. No, I´m serious. Just take a few seconds to listen to all the noise that surrounds you. try to identify those sounds. Now try to concentrate on you computer again and block them out. Go back to the state where you didn´t notice your neighbour´s wasshing machine, or your computer´s fan.
It´s hard, isn´t it? One minute you are calm and unaware and the next you are battling with all that noise. Where did it come from? Aaarg. It is now quite difficult to get back on track. And think of all the energy you are using to try to block the unwanted sounds. You are in fact wasting that same energy every single day, sometimes even more. That means you get tired for no apparent reason, it is a source of the tension you feel.
Noise has some very bad effects on your overall health. It affects your nervous, endocrine and cardiovascular system, causing:
- Lack of concentration
- Head aches
- High blood pressure
However, it´s not only unwanted noise that negatively affects us; it is also the ones we create ourselves, the computer fan, the TV, the radio, the telephone… The good news is that, because noise surrounbds us constantly, reducing it even for small periods of time represents a HUGE relief. Here´s some things you can try this week to reduce noise and stress:
- Switch off the radio/MP3/iPod. When you leave your house don´t plug in the earphones. Don´t turno on the radio in your car. Use that time to think, on your shopping list or on how to deal with a complex work situation. Look out the window and find a new shop or a cool looking restaurant that you never noticed before.
- Turn off the TV unless you are actually watching it. TV doesn´t keep you company. It doesn´t make the house feel less empty.
- Watch less TV and don´t use it to fall asleep. The sounds actually make you sleep less soundly and not get as much rest as you would otherwise. Have no TV evenings. Choose a day when there is nothing you like on and simply do other things. You can use that time to read, play a board game, iron or just chat with your family or roommates.
- Don´t have the TV on when you eat. That way you will pay more attention to what and how much you eat. You will enjoy your meals, and the company, much more.
- Don´t fill in your “dead” periods, like waiting for the bus or walking the dog, with sound. No music, no phone calls. Just be present.
If you think about it, we sometimes use music or we call someone just to not get bored. As if not being bombarded with sound or conversation will lead to a deadly boredom. It doesn´t. Silence allows us to get to know ourselves better, to take more reasoned and hence better decisions, to get to know our surroundings and to fell more relaxed.
Like my grandma always says, only the boring get bored.
Try some of these tips out this week and tell me how it went.