The Life-Changing Impact Silence Has on Our Brains
When it comes to mental health, there are quite a number of times when silence is gold and speech silver. Indeed, contemporary life is now littered with too many noisy distractions that we seem to have accepted it as the norm in society.
To truly appreciate silence, one needs to have an understanding of the dangers of noise. Sound levels above 85 decibels (dB) are quite harmful. Motorcycles, heavy traffic, leaf blowers, and loud conversations are some of the sources that generate such high sound decibels.
Excessive noise over prolonged periods like at airports can be detrimental to our health. Research done by epidemiologists has been able to trace a direct connection between chronic noise sources and high blood pressure. Noise has also been linked to sleep loss, tinnitus, and cardiovascular complications.
Individuals who work in quiet environments will attest to having better focus than when placed in noisy environments. In this particular aspect, libraries seem to have us beat since they’re known worldwide as advocates for absolute silence.
The human brains are wired in such a way that they are always in a perpetual state of functioning. This is true even when we are engaged in mundane activities that we don’t consider to require much deliberation. Scientific research has demonstrated that the brain is never in silence mode when we seem to have nothing to do; it usually operates in autopilot/default mode. The introduction of a new activity we need to undertake tends to divert our attention towards the new engagement.
A good demonstration of this is when we’re listening to a music track and it gets stopped abruptly. Ideally, one would expect the listening experience to have stopped in that instant. However, our brains have minds of their own. They are always perpetually working in the background, thus, when the music track stops, the brain will attempt to fill in the gap by creating the next verse in the song.
A study conducted on mice was able to demonstrate that 2-hour silences prompted the development of cells in the hippocampus. It is important to note that the hippocampus aids us in memory retention. It is little wonder that the smartest people like to frequent libraries!
Open work environments do not yield as much productivity as compared to closed office spaces. Working in open environments tends to bring with it a barrage of other factors that cause disturbances while we attempt to work.
The famous French mathematician Blaise Pascal once alluded that man is unhappy due to the inability to sit quietly in their chambers. To him, silence was of the essence in producing results. Given the fact that he was able to achieve numerous feats during his lifetime like the invention of the hydraulic press, the Pascal triangle, roulette machine, and the theory of probability, he seems to have a valid point.
Our lives today are dominated by numerous sensory inputs tossed at us. When we are away from major noise disruptions, our brains are able to isolate themselves and restore themselves back to default operating state. The absence of sonic disruptions plays a key role in activating this behavior.
Noise disrupts the prefrontal cortex of the brain that is essential in problem-solving, decision making, and high-order thinking. Once the brain is disturbed, our attention assets become exhausted. Continued exhaustion of the brain leads to mental fatigue and the inability to focus, become creative, and solve problems.
Participating in activities like nature walks and other activities that involve lower sensory inputs are important in the restoration of cognitive functions. In quiet environments, the brain finds its groove and auto adjusts back to optimum functioning. That can help explain the relative sense of calm most of us have when going on nature trips.
As humans, one can argue that our greatest quality is the ability to dream. This can be about activities in the present or our aspirations for the future. Daydreaming, fantasizing, and meditation are key indicators that our minds are at full cognition levels. Often times, partaking in either of these activities requires us to have a semblance of silence.
When external stimuli is not present to engage the brain, it is able to evoke more emotions, thoughts, ideas, and memories. Tapping into these can lead to enhanced levels of creativity, reflection, and empathy.
More in Mind & Mental
See What Your Favorite Celebrities Have to Say About Panic Attacks
Statistics have shown that just over 40 million adults in the U.S. experience a panic disorder. But what exactly is this...September 20, 2018
Achieve Glowing Skin With These Simple Hacks
Our skin is a reflection of how healthy we live. People would do anything, and we mean anything, to have the...September 19, 2018
Celebs That Suffer From Chronic Illnesses & Still Win at Life
We all at some point in time fantasize about having the perfect body, a great immune system, good health, and the...September 18, 2018
Why Self-Care Is Important
Those focused on fitness know the importance of taking a holistic approach to being healthy overall. This means not only focusing...September 17, 2018
Here’s Why You Should NEVER Share Your Earphones
There is no harm in sharing a piece of gum, a pack of potato chips, your laptop, or even your clothes...September 14, 2018
Beware of These Super Annoying Habits That Can Get Out of Control
We all have people around us who have annoying little habits we wish they didn’t, like a constant need to clear...September 13, 2018
Ten Percent of the Population is Left-Handed, and Science Now Knows Why
It is popularly believed that lefties are more creative and ambitious compared to their right-handed counterparts, and that may be true....September 12, 2018
These Celebrity Beauty Tips Are Better Than Expensive Anti-Aging Creams
We often wonder how celebrities that we idolized during our childhood for their beauty and attraction still appear on our TV...September 11, 2018
Keto Diet Can Increase Memory And Longevity
Keto diet is likely to increase memory functionality, reduce the mortality rate. This was declared by two independent studies that suggest...September 10, 2018