Stress Less Tip 10: Be Comfortable with Silence

 You don't always have to say something. - Sammy Davis Jr.

Silence can be uncomfortable for some people. I find to be comfortable with silence is to be comfortable with yourself. There are those that use silence as a tool for negativity, i.e the "silent treatment." In order to foster health and good energy, silence should not be used to get back at someone, ignore someone, or make someone feel bad. We want you to learn how to be comfortable with silence for peace.

Meditation is a wonderful way to use silence to one's benefit. Meditation is not an easy practice especially if a person is not accustomed to being silent with themselves. Some people think that meditation is a state in which our mind is blank but that is not the case. Meditation is to be mindful of our thoughts, emotions, body and mental experiences. Let the thoughts come and go, explore them, and have an anchor thought or word (mantra) that helps to refocus your thoughts when they start to go to astray. You may need to have an already established a mantra or a focus word that will bring you back from far wandering thoughts. You may also need to start slow with a 5-minute session and then grow from there.

Silence can also be used to avoid conflict. Sometimes we may have an initial instinct to reply to comments that stir us emotionally. Our initial reaction may not always be the most well thought out. There are times when it is okay to take a moment of silence that will allow us to reflect on our response. Silence can also be used to avoid conflict especially when we already know we have a tendency to say the wrong things.

Lastly, celebrate silence in your life. You do not have to feel the need to always break it. You do not have to fear it. Be comfortable with it. Know when to break the silence and share your voice. Remember that knowing when to speak up is just as important as knowing when not to.


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