by Steven Aitchison
of Change Your Thoughts
Silence has an energy to it like no other source. It has the power to get people to think and to act, it can help slow the mind down, and it is a powerful ally in the likes of counseling and life coaching.
The trouble with silence is that many people feel the need to fill the void of silence with needless chatter, with TV, with Music, with noise of some kind. Silence can be disconcerting and can make people feel uncomfortable and alone, that’s why the world is filled with TV’s that have been left on when nobody is watching it, for background noise.
What happens when there is silence?
We turn our thoughts and focus inwards and gain the power we need to refuel our minds. Our ego is temporarily switched off or at least made to be quiet for a bit, and we start to see the real world as it should be. Our thoughts get in the way of our reality sometimes and we don’t see the beauty of the world around us. When there is silence there is time for introspection and to allow your true self to speak, not the ego, not the conscious mind but the true self connected to the flow of energy around us.
5 Examples of when to use silence
1. During arguments. One of the best times to use the power of silence is during an argument is to stay silent. The ego will be trying to force its way out of you and finish the argument but you are the controller, not the ego. When someone is shouting at you, looking for an argument or just picking on you can literally take all the power away from them and keep all your energy by simply looking at them and saying absolutely nothing. This is extremely difficult to do but very powerful.
2. Gossiping. When there is a crowd of people in the workplace there are gossipers who speak about other people. The thing with gossiping is that it is contagious. When we don’t like someone and someone else starts speaking about them we naturally tend to voice our opinion, I’ve done it lots of times and have to stop myself.
Try and stop yourself from catching the virus of gossiping and use the power of silent whenever it occurs. If you are a gossiper yourself and people around start to notice that you are ‘not your usual self’, don’t give an explanation just leave saying you’ve got work to do or whatever, pretty soon you’ll be out of the gossiping loop.
3. When someone is talking. Silence is a great tool for counselors if used in the right way. It’s also great when listening to friends and family.
Just let people talk and listen to them and use your facial expressions and movements to acknowledge that you are listening. This can be a tough thing to do but extremely powerful for both you, as the listener, and the talker.
You will find that as you practice this, more people come to talk to you as you will be known as a listener. Obviously there are times to speak during the conversation, however when you do, make sure it is to paraphrase what the talker is saying or asking questions to get more information, don’t make it about yourself.
When people want to know more about you they will ask you questions, this is the time to talk about yourself but always have the listener be part of the conversation.
4. When the house is empty. The silence of the home can be quite disturbing to some people as there is a natural need to fill the void of silence. We turn on the radio, play some music, call friends or family, or turn on the TV to fill this void. Having a completely silent home when you are alone does not mean you are alone it simply means you are recharging your mind and giving it some downtime.
Silence helps us to work through, in our minds, the events of the day or project what we want to happen during the day ahead. I am a night owl and also a morning lark. I love the silence when I know everyone is safe and tucked up in bed and I can write or work on the computer. At the weekends I go to bed with my wife to talk about days events or our plans and just have a laugh or whatever. My wife, who loves her sleep, has gone to sleep I kiss her goodnight and get up for a few hours to write as this is the time I am most inspired. I am also the first person up in the morning which means I have another 2 hours to write or work on my online projects.
I know it’s harder when you are alone, however silent time can be used to think about the life you want and work out ways to get it.
5. Quiet reflection. This is a fantastic way to connect with world in a way that is not possible when you are surrounded by hubbub noise. 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening simply focusing on your breath can do wonders for both mind and body. I truly believe that with practice quiet reflection can help us reach a level of deep inner calm.
The state of silence is a way of reaching another part of your mind not possible when going about your daily routine. This other part of your mind is connected in every way to the world around you and with practice you can tap into this knowledge.
Does silence help you? Let us know how you have used silence in your life and how it has helped you.
Steven Aitchison is the founder and creator of Change Your Thoughts . His blog focuses on personal development through the process of changing your thoughts. When he’s not working online, Steve works as an alcohol and drugs counselor. To learn more about Steve and his approach to personal development, be sure to visit him at Change Your Thoughts.