This morning, like most Sunday mornings, we were listening to Michael Enright on The Sunday Edition. His Digital Sabbath essay, a follow up to an earlier Digital Detox story, struck a chord.
I’m happy to chat and socialize, but I’m very sensitive to noise. I love having a few hours home alone with the TV and stereo off, basking in the (relative) silence. I find quiet time rejuvenating. It also makes it much easier for me to read and write.
My partner is the opposite. Trained as a radio copywriter, he works best with a steady hum around him. How he can concentrate is beyond me! He does appreciate my need for quiet though. Enough that my birthday gift was a pair of outrageously awesome noise-cancelling headphones. 😉
Research suggests that I am not alone. For centuries people have written about the ill-effects of noise and benefits of silence. From 17th-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal:
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
To 19th-century British nurse and social activist Florence Nightingale:
Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.
In Why Silence Is So Good For Your Brain, Carolyn Gregoire gives us four science-backed reasons to seek out silence. From relieving stress and tension to regenerating brain cells.
Belle Cooper expands on the issue in The Power of Silence: Why You Need Less Noise for Work and Your Health. She cites problems with memory, comprehension, and focus, and potential brain and kidney damage. Including an interesting success story about a design agency that implemented daily “quiet time.” Excellent idea!
Wishing you some peace and quiet in your day,