Caught up in the sound of silence: How do you handle it?
How much time do you spend in the quiet of your own thoughts or the quiet of nature? It is hard to ignore the buzz that seems to exist throughout our lives. There is more noise than we recognize and it is much harder to exist without it than one thinks!
I always thought I was pretty good at this. I enjoy time on my own. I appreciate sounds of nature, whether it is the wind or rain or the sound of the hummingbirds that appear at my window.
Come along with me and see if you can recognize yourself in my experience and some tricks to tackle the feelings.
This week I was shocked at my personal response. I am traveling back and forth to the city from our lake house about 45 minutes away. I am driving our fun Volvo convertible. It's an older vehicle and it just so happens that the radio and CD player are on the fritz. We haven't found the time to sort it all out.
I normally use the commute to catch the news or listen to personal development podcasts on my phone or CD. Today I was driving early in the morning and I seemed to be missing the noise. My phone and headphones weren't easily accessible, yet I was reaching for them almost unconsciously.
It was only at that point, that I realized how uncomfortable I am with silence. When was the last time you spent more just a few minutes in silence?
So to unravel it a bit more, why was I feeling the panic? There was no place to hide; I was sitting in the car with a seatbelt. Short of stopping the car I was driving there would not be sound for 45 minutes.
We spend so much time being stimulated with noise from many directions: television, radio, traffic, household/office sounds, email notifications, pets and on it goes. So when I was confined to only the roar of the car I realized I had work to do.
As there are in all situations, there is a series of steps to work through the emotions, physical response, or feelings. Here are the steps I use:
Step 1 Acknowledge it is happening! Once you recognize the feeling, is important to step back from all of the judging we do of ourselves. We tell ourselves lots of negative stories that get in the way of moving forward.
Step 2 Understanding. In this situation, for me, it was recognizing that I have come to rely heavily on noise and constant stimulation. I have been juggling a lot of projects, information, and activities, and I was using the noise to distract me. I quickly saw that my body was on what I would call “high alert”. Being on high alert is fine in short intervals when necessary, but it is important not to have a full day of it!
Step 3 Action. In this case I need to practice what I preach! Even though my resilience is high, there is always opportunity to build on it. Driving in a car is a perfect place to do it! So I began to practice HeartMath, working on breath and heart focus to actually energize my body and calm the response I had been feeling. The great thing about HeartMath is that you can actually do it in the car while driving. So I had now found 45 minutes of practice time I had been overlooking.
If you have felt uneasy with silence, looking for noise to be a comfort and know that your body could be strengthened, it may be time to look at options. Let's connect here to see if Heart Math is for you.
With love and appreciation,