Silence is golden – and key to our wellbeing
“Silence?” we hear you ask. “That would be nice!” With our lives running at an ever faster pace in an increasingly manic world, moments to ourselves are few and far between. But it’s not just physical silence that we seek today – mental and digital silence are now of equal importance. Our smartphones, tablets and laptops are often no more than an arm’s length away, and thanks to the presence of the internet and social media, we are rarely truly alone. Even when we turn off all technology and are laying in bed trying to sleep, our minds can still be whirring away and keeping us alert.
While we frequently joke about peace and quiet being an unattainable ideal, it turns out that a lack of silence is actually quite bad for us. In 2011, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report branded noise pollution a ‘modern plague’ and concluded that there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise (that caused by transport and industrial and recreational activities) harms our health. Recent studies have confirmed that physical and digital noise negatively affects our focus and sleep, as well as increasing stress hormones and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Thankfully, the health and wellness industry has caught on to the need to switch off, and there are now various ways in which you can do just that. Silent retreats, which usually involve several days of solitude, meditation and mindfulness and zero use of technology, are on the rise, with celebrities such as Emma Watson and Gisele Bünchden giving it a go. You could even take a trip to the Silent Spa at Therme Laa Hotel & Spa in Vienna, the first comprehensively silent bathing and spa experience complete with mute staff.
A ‘digital detox’ is another a great way to disconnect from your devices and reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and nature. You can embark on one with the help of Time To Log Off which also offers retreats in the UK and abroad, including one designed for teenagers (itstimetologoff.com). Simply meditating for a few minutes a day can go a long way in bringing a bit of silence back into your life, and there are some great apps available to help you get started – try Headspace, Buddhify or Calm.
Save over £11
when you subscribe today
Exclusive prizes from our Heaven Skincare, Senspa, Green People and more...