Turn Off the Noise and Enjoy the Quiet


Sometimes I fill my life with noise. I’m not just talking about music or white noise, though that can be part of our noisy lives. I’m talking about anything that causes a disturbance or that is distracting.

Noise can be background music, clutter, yelling, arguing, excess, visual noise and so much more. Noise can be found everywhere: email, meetings, television, music players, phones, computers, websites, billboards, advertisements, in our homes, at our desks, in our cars.

I think sometimes I fear silence so find some kind of noise to fill the void. Silence can be daunting and uncomfortable. We call a quiet lull in the conversation an “awkward silence”. Radio silence, a period without sound from a source that is usually alive with noise and sound, usually infers that something is wrong. Quietness is typically frowned upon in school systems, as students (myself included) are encouraged to speak up and speak out often. If we are alone we fill the quiet void with music or some other noise. I have done all of these things or experienced them many times. But I am learning the important lesson of turning the noise off and enjoying the quiet moments of life.

  • If I’m bored at home I try not to turn immediately to my phone, the TV or playing music.
  • When I drive to work I enjoy watching the sights and conversing with my wife instead of playing music.
  • I exercise in silence instead of playing music. This way I can listen to my inner voice and pay attention to my body.
  • I try to embrace silence during a conversation. It’s nice to leave some time to ponder and think instead of throwing words around in an attempt to fill the silence.
  • I am trying to be a better listener. Instead of voicing my opinion, I try to listen to what others have to say and leave my brain time to digest what they say.
  • I make time for quietness and stillness. Don’t underestimate the amazing benefits of taking some quiet moments for yourself every day.
  • I get rid of unnecessary items from my life, eliminating “stuff noise”.
  • I am working on simplifying the amount of time I spend online and on social media. There is a lot of virtual/digital noise going on that can be distracting and cause stress.

As we take time each day to turn off the constant stream of noisy distractions, we will learn to embrace and enjoy small, quiet moments. Seeking daily quiet will become a grounding habit that helps us reconnect with our purpose and reduce stress. I have listed a few ideas for finding those quiet moments, but I challenge you to notice the “noise” in your life and find ways to turn it off for a small moment and enjoy the quiet.


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