Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1879. Antonio Meucci is credited with creating the first basic phone and Alexander Graham Bell the first patent for a telephone in 1876. Philo Taylor Farnsworth invented Television in 1927. You may be wondering by now why I am reciting the history of invention. Well, to put it mildly, these three inventions among others, spawned a host of changes in our lifestyle. Reducing the amount of time we spend in silence would easily count as perhaps one of the most profound.
Prior, humans, spent a large part of their time in silence. Their circumstances forced them to do so. A candle just did not lend itself to propagating a lifestyle filled with conversations, television, phones, iPads, electronic readers or even a paper book, radio or iPod. I can go on and on. Silence filled the void. A study in 2013 published in Brain, Structure, and Function showed that two hours of silence every day helped promote the growth of cells in the hippocampus in your brain. Another study found that during calm, your mind can study and evaluate information collected until that time. This ability to process information allows your brain to make sense of the data, evaluate what is useful and even make decisions or choices. Silence can also help you reduce your stress and anxiety as you are allowing your brain to process your concerns and worries and rationalize and categorize them into essential and worrisome or not. The composite outcome is a well-formulated understanding of your life, experiences, and priorities.
Instead, a barrage of stimuli continuously bombards our brains. You would be hard-pressed to find two minutes in a day, while awake when something is not stimulating you. Worse you are continually trying to do more than one thing, often two or three at the same time. All of this collectively leaves your brain foggy, confused and overwhelmed. Don’t confuse silence with meditation. Instead, this is just a few minutes or hours when you are alone with your thoughts.