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My Experiments With Silence; and 3 of its Key Benefits

In the last year (2021), I went through multiple periods where it felt like everything was falling apart. Periods during which the noise of what I was going through and stuff happening in the world felt inescapable. Periods during which it became hard for me to find the words.

One of the things that helped me navigate such periods has been to keep complete silence for multiple days. To take refuge in its restful embrace, even as little else can be made sense of.

What began as an antidote for difficult phases has gradually become an integral part of my day-to-day life as well as my mindfulness (and self-care) practice. So, I thought of sharing three key benefits that have motivated this shift -

1. Helps create space

An instantly noticeable benefit of keeping silent is the sense of space that it can help create. Keeping silent has helped me move away from stuff that made me feel held back. I found it easier to park these excessive thoughts and conserve the energy I would have otherwise spent on them. No longer feeding what makes me feel held back, I could conserve my energy and create space for what does make me feel held.

2. Increases awareness and focus

Interconnected with the previous point on space, another benefit I noticed with keeping silent was the considerable spike in my awareness and productivity. The space silence created meant that I felt less spent and had more of myself to give. I could immerse myself into my work with greater focus and had a higher sense of awareness through these periods.

3. Fosters learning

Saving the best for last, my favorite benefit of staying silent is it fosters learning. Keeping silent means that I am naturally more inclined to listen rather than speak in conversations. This, in turn, serves the benefit of helping me learn more (since we already know what we speak).

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