I used to find silence deafening, even nerve-racking. Silence left me alone with my thoughts, and those thoughts could be quite scary. Silence tempted me into my addiction and then made me afraid to leave it behind.
Blocking Out the Noise
When the house was quiet and all my work was done for the day, I couldn’t wait to spark up a blunt and let my mind go on a meaningless journey accompanied by miscellaneous television chatter.
I had no idea what I was missing.
Fast forward to my stint in a drug addiction rehab program. Now, I was offered long blocks of silence and told it was healthy for me. Meditation took the place of the noise, and I gradually came full circle.
I started by training my mind to focus on one particular object. That simple exercise taught me if I focus on something positive, my mind won’t be distracted by the negative. Of course, in order to gain that focus, I had to learn how to keep my mind from wandering into the abyss.
I began to welcome the silence, because now I needed it. I needed it in order to focus on the positive. Instead of fearing it, I had begun embracing it. Instead of resenting the silence, I looked forward to it.
Why We Need Silence to Meditate Effectively
When I meditate I need outer silence. A quiet environment allows my mind to quiet down, leaving room for positive, healthy thoughts. There are numerous factors involved:
- Stress – All the noise we are exposed to on a nearly continuous basis causes us to be over-exposed, which then triggers our sympathetic nervous system. When that happens, our minds and bodies become overstimulated, and the silence is needed to calm us down.
- Rejuvenation – Silence gives us the opportunity to recharge our batteries, so to speak. Once I embraced silence, I actually found that I had a lot of good ideas that I want to cultivate.
- Solitude – Silence offers me the best possible way to get to know myself and in so doing, it keeps me from running away from challenges I initially feel I can’t handle.
- Health Issues – Silence is an amazing tool. In addition to improving my blood pressure, silence has boosted my immune function and my brain chemistry, regulated my hormones, reduced my stress, and keeps plaque from building up in my bloodstream.
- Voluntary Silence – I have found that when I choose to be silent, doors open up to me such as purity, clarity, and peace.
- Creativity – When I release all the cares of the day, I make room in my mind for some of the greatest project ideas I have ever had. Silence is no longer an empty, scary place
- Living in the Present – Instead of fretting about yesterday and worrying about tomorrow, silence lets the sunshine in to illuminate my mind and nourish my soul.
Why We Need Silence in our Lives
Constant noise taxes us emotionally, mentally, and physically. It actually triggers all sorts of negative stress in our bodies. We were not designed for it. Prior to the 20th century, life was a lot quieter.
It Takes Practice
We have become so accustomed to modern life with its noise and its busyness that mastering silent meditation generally takes some time. My thoughts were quite jumbled at first, so I simply let them all tumble out. Once I got past that, a peaceful silence started trickling in.
So start slow and don’t be afraid to let your mind wander. It will take you to some wonderful places.
If you or your loved one needs help, contact us today and feel free to talk to us about addiction treatment programs at our affordable drug and alcohol rehab that fit your needs. The Anaheim Lighthouse is a modern and effective addiction treatment center in Southern California.