A Case for Silence (Revisited 2021)
I originally wrote a similar post in 2018, but have decided to repost this article (after many MANY months of not posting) in the hope that it might be helpful to you this holiday season. Enjoy!
During the holiday season, it can sometimes seem impossible to find time for silence amongst the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and parties. Yet given this fact, I'd argue that we need that time in silence this time of year more than ever
Silence can be uncomfortable or hard to make time for. Why would we carve out time in our busy schedules for simply sitting still in silence when we could be using that time more productively?
But it is in those silent times that we can start to open up our heart and start the process of healing and/or working through some of the things we are struggling with in our lives. I feel like saying that makes time in silence seem only appropriate for thoughts/issues which we consider "negative" or carry a negative connotation, but this couldn't be further from the truth. It can prove to be a time to contemplate the good things happening in your life and how the stage was laid for those things to occur.
“How is this related to our health?” you might ask. Well, besides the powerful mental health benefits of sitting in silence, I’d like to offer another perspective.
I work in the fitness and nutrition industry where 95% of the time, my client’s goals are weight loss. Most everyone I know struggles with eating in some way or another, whether it’s disordered eating patterns or an unhealthy relationship with food.
What this looks like varies from person to person, but often it involves some sort of “trigger food” that when we eat it, we can’t seem to stop. This might lead to binge eating or a pattern of restricting and binging, but very few people have the tools to manage this pattern on their own.
How does this tie into silence?
Often, we use food (alcohol, drugs, etc) as a way to medicate when we are suppressing something, typically an emotion. But, that emotion usually lives in our subconscious, unreachable, so we find ourselves in a constant battle with food or another “trigger” that we can’t seem to get away from.
Society tells us we need more discipline and motivation. I’m telling you that what you actually might need is silence. Silence to sit with yourself and get to the root of what is happening deep inside you.
Is this easy? Not at all. Could it be worth it? Likely
We will never get to the root cause and work toward healing unless we take the time away from our chaotic lives and sit in silence. That is my invitation for you this holiday season: make some time for silence and see what happens. What comes up inside of you, both good and bad? You might find that it has been part of what you've been searching for.