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The sounds of silence: benefits of a silent retreat. (Part1)


Silent retreats and sound fasting, these are fast becoming the new wellness trend of 2018, but we look at why this practice is taking the world by storm (quietly).


Go there, fetch that, buy this, remember to eat, time to exercise, did you send that email, do these jeans make me look fat, I need coffee, gotta fetch the kids, remember to breathe, am I doing enough, when will I be happier, remember to stay calm.


The modern world is a busy place but the modern mind is even busier, there are so many things going on all the time that it is becoming a health hazard not to take a break. Unless you’re lucky enough to live on a private nature reserve, chances are your life is noisy.


Stop.


Just take a minute and take a deep breath or three (do it out loud so that you can hear it).


Even when we’re physically on our own, we are still engaged with mental noise, whether we are checking emails and messages, consuming music or social media, even reading or journaling is considered a noisy mental activity, this is without even looking at the external factors and noise pollutants we live in. Most of us rarely, if ever afford ourselves the opportunity to experience complete silence.


To understand the level of sound in our lives we need to identify all the areas which are particularly noisy. Because in order to experience true silence, it would mean to completely withdraw from noise. In other words it’s like having a ‘sound fast’, which like any other fasting practice, is difficult to start. This is why we recommend attending a silent retreat


According to the Global Wellness Summit, silent retreats have been cited as one of the top eight self and health preserving activities one can do in the 21st century. They simply offer a space which facilitates a thorough break without the distractions of everyday life. Like any diet, you become more motivated when you gather the knowledge of how to execute this practice correctly so that you can implement the changes to your life.


Physically speaking, taking a break from the noise pollution experienced from living in the city can vastly improve your mental and auditory well-being as well. Exposure to a continuous noise level of 85–90 decibels (which is the average range of street traffic), is the leading contributor to progressive loss of hearing. A lifetime of unmanaged noise exposure will also decrease your threshold of hearing sensitivity. Take a look at this infographic to find out more about dangerous decibel levels.


Studies have proven that sound pollution is directly related to aggravated stress responses in the workplace as well as a contributing factor to sleeplessness, high blood pressure and in some cases endocrine disturbances. - https://academic.oup.com/bmb/article/68/1/243/421340


Taking physical breaks from sound can have immense healing effects on the human body. Over and above the physical benefits, the practice also offers an opportunity for you to recharge your inner battery, to reconnect with your true self, and to set intentions for your life’s journey. Silence teaches you about tranquility on a deeper, more spiritual level.


We dive into this on our next article.

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